Ecumenism

(Spero News) Bearing in mind the diversity of languages and rites of the faithful, said Pope Benedict, “I believe the development of constructive dialogue with other episcopates is more than ever appropriate.” From this, he added, will emerge “prudent decisions” on how to find the ministers and resources necessary. “Obviously, respect for specific identities must be borne in mind, but without sacrificing … the life and plans of the Churches that Christ entrusted to you.”

The Holy Father called upon the prelates “to continue your efforts to encourage vocational pastoral care;” on the one hand “carefully cultivating the seeds of vocation,” and on the other, “inviting Christian communities to pray more intensely” for a greater number of priestly and religious vocations, He also emphasized “the spiritual needs of so many immigrants who have found a dignified and cordial welcome in your country. This,” he added, “is the style typical of your people.”

On the question of contact with the faithful of the Orthodox Church, who make up the majority of the Greek population, Benedict XVI highlighted the need “to intensify prayer so as to accelerate the coming of that blessed day when it will be granted us to break the Bread together, and drink together from the same Chalice.”

On this subject, he expressed his hope for the opening of “ever greater prospects of constructive dialogue between the Greek Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church,” and for an increase in “shared spiritual, cultural and practical initiatives. Moreover, it is my pleasure to send my best wishes to His Beatitude Christodoulos, archbishop of Athens and of all Greece,” and through him “to the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church and to all the faithful.”

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