Pope encourages deepening of faith and communion for building Christian unity

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Pope encourages deepening of faith and communion for building Christian unityIn his greetings shared with participants at the Fourth World Gathering of the Global Christian Forum taking place in Accra, Ghana, Pope Francis encourages everyone to deepen their faith and revitalize fraternal love, reflecting the unity to which Christians are called as they discuss the challenges facing the global Christian community.

Pope Francis has sent his greetings to participants meeting for the Fourth World Gathering of the Global Christian Forum from 15 to 20 April in Accra, Ghana. The global gathering brings together Christians from around the world of various traditions for a special time of prayer, worship, dialogue, and mission.

The theme, “That the World May Know,” will explore how to bear witness to Christ in today’s world to better proclaim the love and truth of Jesus Christ to the nations, with the aim "together, let’s make a difference for God’s glory."

Beautiful mosaic of faith

Expressing his "heartfelt greetings" to all those gathered, the Pope praised the global diversity present reflecting "a beautiful mosaic of contemporary christianity" and sharing a common identity as followers of Jesus Christ.

Archbishop Flavio Pace, secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, read out the Pope's words followed by his own address as a participant at the meeting.

Called to unity and love

Touching on the theme, “that the world may know” (John 17:23b), the Pope said christians are called "to embody the unity and love of the Triune God in their personal and ecclesial lives so that they bear witness to a world scarred by division and rivalry."

Ecumenism tied to mission

Unity is key "for embracing the vision of the Kingdom of God," the Pope emphasised, and this requires "an intrinsic bond between ecumenism and Christian mission." The Pope noted significant contribution the Global Christian Forum has made in its 25-year history by providing spaces where members of different historical expressions of the Christian faith can "grow in mutual respect and fraternity by encountering one another in Christ."

In conclusion, he prayed that the meeting will everyone to deepen their faith, revitalize fraternal love as they pray together, discuss and exchange experiences on the challenges facing the global christian community.

“To all of you, I invoke the blessings of Almighty God, and pray that the gathering will advance the visible unity among all Christians.”

After Archbishop Pace read the Pope's message, he later offered his own contribution in addressing the participants. Echoing the Pope's words, he praised the "rich tapestry of Christianity, including Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Independent churches, and ecumenical organizations" represented at the meeting.

The Global Christian Forum's focus on sharing a "living faith" and promoting relations among Christian leaders has become a "valuable ecumenical tool", Archbishop Pace said, in addition to finding solutions to doctrinal divergences, exchanging faith experiences, deepening mutual understanding, and strengthening fraternity.

Archbishop Pace also underscored how Christian witness together reveals "the reconciling power of the Gospel" and this unity can show "the power of Christian faith that transcends human differences, forming a living community of brothers and sisters rooted in brotherly love, mutual respect, and shared purpose."

In conclusion, he recalled how the Catholic Church has been engaged in an unprecedented synodal process, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission” that included several fraternal delegates representing various Christian traditions taking part in the first session last October with an even larger number invited to the concluding session this coming October. While thanking them for their Synod participation, he remarked how the Syond "sent a clear and credible signal of the desire to journey together in the spirit of unity of faith and exchange of gifts", affirming "what unites Christians is greater and deeper than what divides them."

This meeting here in Ghana is also "animated by the spirit of synodality," he added, and that "by praying and working together, we can pool our resources, talents, and insights to address common challenges and advance the Gospel collectively."

Thaddeus Jones
Source: vaticannews.va/en