- Aug 10, 2020
Marking the 25th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s encyclical on Christian unity, Pope Francis said he shares “the healthy impatience” of those who think more can and should be done, but he also insisted that Christians must be grateful for the progress made.
One could make the argument that Francis doesn’t actually have to be in Ariccia or its Casa Divin Maestro (“House of the Divine Master”) for the Roman Curia’s annual retreat this week, because in many ways the experience already carries a distinctly Francis “vibe.”
Working for Christian unity and engaging in formal theological dialogues to promote it obviously raises questions about what the nature and mission of the church is.
In what Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople described as a “brave and bold” gesture, Pope Francis gave the patriarch a famous reliquary containing bone fragments believed to belong to St. Peter.
A significant rupture between Orthodox churches in Ukraine has brought the official theological dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox to a standstill, according to a Vatican official involved in the talks.
Despite some new tensions, “practically the whole of Christianity is in a process of advancing beyond the controversies and competition of the past, toward greater understanding, trust and solidarity,” said Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.