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Pope Francis calls on Christians to work towards church unity with 'renewed vigour'

by Premier Journalist

Pope Francis has renewed his calls for church unity, saying that he shares the "impatience" of the many others who are keen to see ecumenical progress. 

In a letter to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Pope Francis insisted that the late Pope John Paul II would have wanted the Church to be “ever mindful of the heartfelt prayer of her Teacher and Lord" and that the Church must become one. 

Pope Francis added: “I too share the healthy impatience of those who sometimes think that we can and should do more. Yet we should not be lacking in faith and gratitude: many steps have been taken in these decades to heal the wounds of centuries and millennia. Mutual knowledge and esteem have grown and helped to overcome deeply rooted prejudices. 

“Theological dialogue and the dialogue of charity have developed, as well as various forms of cooperation in the dialogue of life, at both the pastoral and cultural level.”

The Pope added that an Ecumenical Vademecum (guidebook) for Bishops is due for publication this autumn as "an encouragement and guide for the exercise of their ecumenical responsibilities." 

The Holy See concluded: “One thing is certain: unity is not chiefly the result of our activity, but a gift of the Holy Spirit...With confidence, then, let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide our steps and to enable everyone to hear the call to work for the cause of ecumenism with renewed vigour.” 

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