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Friday, February 24, 2017
Faith, hope and charity lead to unity
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 Faith, hope and charity are the stars which will lead Christians toward lost unity, the Pope said during his Wednesday audience. Ecumenism has been the theme of the Pope's recent talks. Addressing 40,000 pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square, he said that there was already a considerable amount of common ground between the churches as they all professed faith in "only one Lord", Jesus Christ, true God and true man, and in "God the Father of all", reinforced by "the one baptism". Christians of different denominations had other important ties of union: "All together, the Churches and the ecclesial communities refer to the ancient symbols of the faith and the definitions of the first ecumenical councils," the Pope said. Nevertheless, he said: "certain doctrinal differences remain to be overcome in order that the road to unity of faith reaches the fullness indicated by the promise of Christ. This was where he spoke about the importance of hope. Quoting Charles Péguy, the French poet, the Pope said Christians must pray for this virtue, and live by it: "What is difficult is to wait, what is easy is to despair; this is the great temptation." In fact, the great witness Christians can give to a world without hope is, precisely, "to have a reason for the hope that is in us," he said. "Love is at the summit of the three theological virtues," he stressed. "The ecclesial object of charity and its inexhaustible source is the Eucharist." Quoting the Second Vatican Council decree on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, the Holy Father concluded: "This holy intention to reconcile all Christians, in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ, surpasses human forces and learning."
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