VATICAN CITY, NOV 4, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was a message from the Pope to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the members, consultants, and officials of the dicastery on the occasion of the plenary assembly that they are celebrating on the theme 'Ecumenical Spirituality.'
In the message, dated November 3, the Holy Father writes: 'Twenty five years after my election to the See of Peter, I thank the Lord because I am able to say that on the path of ecumenism, despite certain events, important and significant steps have been made towards the goal of Christian unity.'
'Certainly,' he continues, 'the path of ecumenism is not easy. ' The goal of visible full communion can at times create painful circumstances and reactions in those who want to speed up the process at all costs, or in those who get discouraged on the long path yet to be embarked upon. We, however, in the school of ecumenism, are learning to live with humble faith this intermediate period, aware that it continues to be a period of no return.'
John Paul II says: 'We want to overcome together differences and difficulties, we want to recognize together inadequacies and delays along the path to unity, we want to reestablish the desire of reconciliation where it seems threatened by diffidence and suspicion.'
After recalling the initiatives in ecumenism, such as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Pope indicates that he has also 'encouraged in many ways the faithful of the Catholic Church not to neglect in their daily dialogue with God, to pray specifically for the unity of Christians.'
'Only an intense ecumenical spirituality, lived out in docility to Christ and in full openness to the suggestions of the Spirit, will help us to live with the necessary energy this intermediate period during which we must take into account our progress and our challenges, the lights and shadows on our path of reconciliation.'
MESS;CHRISTIAN UNITY;...;KASPER ;VIS;20031105;Word: 340;