Cardinal Says Bible Is Best Ecumenical Tool

Lauds Progress of Dialogue

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2008 ( The Bible is the principal instrument of ecumenical dialogue, says the president of the Vatican’s council for promoting Christian unity.

Cardinal Walter Kasper spoke of the Bible and ecumenism in a written intervention for the world Synod of Bishops. A summary of the text was published by the Vatican today.

“Despite all the sad divisions in the history of the Church, the Word of God witnessed above all in holy Scripture has remained the common inheritance even today; nothing else unites the Christian churches and communities like the Bible does,” he said.

Cardinal Kasper called Scripture the “ecumenical bond par excellence.”

And he said it is the “basis of ecumenical dialogue and the main instrument of ecumenical dialogue from the doctrinal as well as the spiritual and pastoral aspects.”

Lectio divina prayed in common is the privileged ecumenical method, the Vatican official went on.

The cardinal affirmed that ecumenical dialogue has achieved a lot in recent decades. He affirmed that “we must be thankful for all that the Spirit of God has done to bring Christians closer together, which is not a small thing. We are thankful and encourage ecumenical work, which according to the Second Vatican Council is an impulse of the Spirit and — as we hope — the building site of the future Church.”

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