Unity theme of Pope’s Angelus address
The profound spiritual connection between the desire for Christian unity and the desire for authentic liberty was the focus of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks before the Angelus prayer with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square this Sunday. Speaking ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father recalled the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which opened this past Wednesday: We will all be changed by the victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ, taken from the 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.
Material for the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been prepared by a working group composed of representatives of the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, Old Catholic and Protestant Churches active in Poland. “In effect,” said Pope Benedict, “Poland has known a long history of courageous struggle against many different adversities, and has repeatedly given proof of great determination, animated by faith.” He went on to say, “Through the course of centuries, Polish Christians have spontaneously intuited a spiritual dimension in their desire for freedom, and they have understood that the true victory can be achieved only if it is accompanied by a profound interior transformation.”
It was a subject to which the Holy Father returned in his English language remarks:
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Angelus. This week, Christians throughout the world mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We are confident that, as Saint Paul says, “We will all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. 1 Cor 15: 51-58). Let us renew our prayer for the unity of all of Christ’s followers, and deepen our resolve to be one in him. Upon each of you and your loved ones at home, I invoke God’s blessings of peace and joy.
Pope Benedict also had greetings for those who begin lunar New Year celebrations on Monday. “In the present world situation of economic and social crisis,” said Pope Benedict, “I express the hope that the new year be marked by justice and peace, that it bring relief to those who suffer, and that young people especially, with their enthusiasm and their idealistic drive, might offer new hope to the world.