Marking the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Francis hosted an ecumenical vespers at Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Pope Francis told those gathered at an ecumenical prayer vigil days before the opening of the Synod on Synodality that silence is essential for Christians.
The prayer service will take place just days before the launch of the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome over the course of October.
Catholic-Orthodox relations took a step forward this month with the publication of the first joint statement in seven years.
About 50,000 people attended the ecumenical prayer service.
In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged Christians to cultivate the virtue of knowing “how to step aside” in order to bear witness to Jesus, as St. John the Baptist did.
Pope Francis said Wednesday that the full restoration of communion among all Christians is “an urgent priority in today’s world.”
In ecumenical discussions at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England, Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, has said that most Anglicans recognize the pope as “the father of the Church in the West.”
Pope Francis called Wednesday for Catholics not to retreat into their own groups, but to open the church doors and work together to care for the vulnerable in the world.
The pope was preaching at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
A Catholic Archbishop in Togo has called on followers of Christ to use the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity not only to pray for unity but also to accompany the initiative with concrete gestures of love for one another.
The letter was sent by Cardinal Kurt Koch and Cardinal Mario Grech.
Pope Francis highlighted the upcoming anniversaries of two major events in Church history as moments that can help Christians seek unity.
Pope Francis told a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that the witness of growing communion between Christians would be “a sign of hope for many.”
Pope Francis told a group of Lutheran leaders on Friday that the desire for unity grows the more Christians understand how much Christ suffers over our divisions.
Pope Francis has praised the courageous witness of the 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians killed by ISIS in 2015, calling them “saints of all Christians.”
The Vatican published Friday a guide with suggestions for Catholic bishops to promote unity with other Christian communities, and offering practical advice for how to overcome common challenges to ecumenism.
Pope Francis Monday remembered Ut unum sint, St. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on ecumenism, on the 25th anniversary of its publication.
The newly appointed Bishop for the diocese of Constantine in Algeria, French-born Monsignor Nicolas Lhernould has expressed hope for being accorded the warm welcome of hospitality by the people of God in his new jurisdiction soon after the Holy Father’s decision was made public Monday, December 9.