By Anita S. Bourdin
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 27, 2010 (Zenit.org).- When Brother Alois Loser, the leader of the ecumenical Taizé community, met with Benedict XVI last week, he brought with him a Bible in Chinese.
Last Thursday, Brother Alois presented to the Pope the ecumenical community’s latest initiative to aid the Christian community in China by publishing and distributing free of charge one million Bibles throughout the country.
In a letter written from China, Brother Alois explained that the project is a “a sign of friendship and gratitude to the Christians in China.”
The initiative, carried out through Operation Hope, was announced in 2008 at a meeting of young people in Brussels. Brother Alois noted at that time that the community would publish 200,000 complete Bibles and 800,000 New Testaments with the Psalms.
The Bibles were printed in Nanjing, China, and from there the books were sent in successive stages throughout the country during 2009.
Brother Alois has met annually with Benedict XVI for the last five years, thus following in the footsteps of Taizé’s founder, Brother Roger, who met every year with John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II.
Since the first months of his new ministry, accompanied by other brothers, Brother Alois has also visited other Christian leaders, such as Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the members of the Ecumenical Council of Churches gathered in Porto Alegre, Brazil, deceased Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexis II and the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.
“With these visits, I would like to show that with my brothers we seek passionately communion among Christians,” explained Brother Alois. “In Taizé we would like to contribute to give greater visibility to the communion that, in Christ, already exists among all the baptized.”