I dag i Vatikanet hadde pave Benedikt XVI et møte med den samlede Enhetskommisjonen (the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) som hadde arbeidet en stund med temaet «den nye økumeniske situasjonen». (Fra: Vatican Information Service)
I sin tale til kommisjonen sa paven bl.a.: «We live in a period of great changes in almost all areas of life, and we must not be surprised if this also impinges upon the life of the Church and on relations between Christians.» Nonetheless, «the aim of the ecumenical movement remains unchanged: the visible unity of the Church. … Vatican Council II considered the re-establishment of full unity among all Christians as one of its principal concerns. It is also my concern.» …. …. ….
«Fortunately,» he went on, «following a period of multiple difficulties, theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches has taken on fresh impetus.» While «bilateral, open and friendly» dialogue is making progress with the ecclesial communities of the West. In this context, the Holy Father mentioned «the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,» signed with the World Lutheran Federation, and to which the World Methodist Council has also given its approval.
Nonetheless, obstacles still remain, such as «the difficulty of finding a shared conception of the relationship between the Gospel and the Church, … of the mystery of the Church and her unity, and of the question of ministry in the Church. New difficulties have arisen in the field of ethics and, as a consequence, the different standpoints taken by the Christian confessions on current problems have reduced their possibility of guiding public opinion.»
«What must be promoted above all,» the Pope concluded, «is the ecumenism of love, that descends directly from the new commandment left by Jesus to His disciples. Love accompanied by coherent acts generates trust. … Ecumenical formation must also be intensified, on the basis of the fundamentals of Christian faith, in other words from the announcement of the love of God which was revealed in the face of Jesus Christ.»