Christians must show world that unity is possible, pope says
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- United in their baptism and their faith in
Jesus, Christians have an obligation to show the world that
differences in language and culture do not have to lead to division
and violence, Pope Benedict XVI said.
"The world needs a visible sign" of unity, the pope told members of
the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between
the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
The pope met Jan. 30 with the commission members, who represent the
Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church, Coptic Orthodox
Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Malankara
Orthodox Syrian Church and Eritrean Orthodox Church.
Each of the churches involved in the dialogue brings the richness of
its own traditions along with a commitment "to overcome the divisions
of the past and to strengthen the united witness of Christians in the
face of the enormous challenges facing believers today," the pope
While united spiritually as disciples of Christ, he said, Christians
also are called to be united visibly as one church.
"We need only cast our minds to the Middle East -- from where many of
you come -- to see that true seeds of hope are urgently needed in a
world wounded by the tragedy of division, conflict and immense human
suffering," the pope said.