“Ecumenism isn’t an option,” affirmed Pope Francis, as the Week draws near of Prayer for Christian Unity.
During the General Audience January 16, 2019, the Holy Father recalled the imminent opening of this Week (on January 18). “Next Friday, with the celebration of Vespers in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, will begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, on the theme: ‘Justice, and Only Justice, You Shall Pursue.’”
“Also this year, we are called to pray so that all Christians return to being one family, coherent with the Divine Will that desires ‘that they may all be one’ (John 17:21), he said, stressing that “Ecumenism isn’t an option.”
“The intention will be to mature a common and unanimous testimony in the affirmation of true justice and in the support of the weakest through concrete, appropriate and effective answers,” he continued.
On greeting the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, the Pontiff also mentioned this Week of Prayer: “Let us intensify our prayer and our penances, to hasten the hour when Jesus’ desire will find its full accomplishment: ‘Abba . . . that they may all be one!’”
“May God’s blessing descend upon your common steps and prayers for the reunification of the Church,” encouraged Pope Francis.