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What is God’s Plan for Ecumenism?

January 21, 2011
“That they all be one” is one of Jesus’ last prayers. He was thinking of his followers, and for the next 2000 years, his followers have been trying to figure out just what Christian Unity means.
This week, as is every year, from January 18-25, is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
The week began with Pope Benedict XVI inviting us all to pray for the unity of Christians. He reminded us on Wednesday, during his General Audience that the search for unity has not been easy, but it has drawn Christians closer to one another and made Christianity more attractive to those who do not believe.
He proceeded to give us four characteristics of a united community:
  1. Remaining faithful to the Gospel and the teachings of the Apostles.
  2. Fellowship and fraternity: the experience of each person sharing and caring for another.
  3. The breaking of the bread. This one is a bit more difficult. But the Holy Father said that sharing the Eucharist is a sign of fully sharing faith, which is why our differences should remind us that we should feel “regret for the impossibility” of sharing the Eucharist.
  4. A constant tendency towards prayer.
This is great advice to remind us, not only what we have in common with our Christian brothers and sisters, but also what we need to stay true followers of Christ.
To mark this special week, we assembled a panel to help us understand a bit better the meaning of ecumenism and how we, as followers of Christ, can work, pray, serve and dialogue together.
My guests tonight on Perspectives: The Weekly Edition are Mary Marrocco and James Pedlar, who both work at the Canadian Council of Churches in the Faith and Witness Commission. They are joined by Fr. Gilles Mongeau, SJ, who is the Canadian Bishop’s delegate for that commission.
That’s an all-new edition of Perspectives Weekly, this Friday January 21st at 7:00 and 11:00pm ET, 8:00pm PT (you can also see the encore presentation Sunday, January 23rd). And don't forget to join the discussion on our Facebook page.
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