In the audience with the participants of the XXVI Pauline Ecumenical Colloquium, the Holy Pope emphasized that the initiative, which brings together scholars of different Christian confessions and cultures, it is possible to overcome the obstacles of mistrust in encountering others, favoring “dialogue” between different starting points, finding common ground based on Scripture”: may the spirit of brotherhood grow among believers
Tiziana Campisi – Vatican City
“If in the course of history division has been the cause of suffering, now we must commit to reversing the path, progressing along the paths of unity and fraternity, starting precisely through prayer , study and cooperation.”
The invitation to Christians to walk together and commit to witness was expressed by Francis when he met in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace with the participants of the XXVI Pauline Ecumenical Colloquium, “an initiative, born shortly after the Second Council of the Vatican by a group of scholars from a dozen countries and different Christian traditions”, which gave rise to “an intense path of study and research”, which contributed “to biblical and spiritual knowledge of the Epistles of the Apostles to the nations”.
A meeting that opens the confrontation with others
The meeting, in which the various Christian confessions and enthusiasts of St. Paul still participate today, who in their association share their “specificity of studies, but also the originality of the culture of origin and of life of faith” in their own Christian community, offers a great contribution, the Pope said in his address, because it opens “dialogue between different starting points, looking for common ground based on Scripture ” and allows “a rigorous and scientific exegetical comparison, which finds its essential foundation in a context of prayer. and spirituality”, which allows “the beauty of the Apostle’s epistolary and its importance for the Christian and ecclesiastical life to emerge”.
For Francis, moreover, in the Pauline Ecumenical Colloquium there is also “the value of overcoming the obstacles of mistrust, which often arise when we are called to meet the other, and more than when the other has a another tradition” from our own..
Francis during his speech to the participants of the Pauline Ecumenical Colloquium
The unexpected ways of God
Regarding the in-depth study of chapters 9-11 of St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans proposed at this year’s Colloquium, the Pope stated that “this is an extraordinary revelation of the mystery of salvation, which relates – and therefore in dialogue. – the gifts and call of God to Israel” and the “hope of the Gospel”, where the Apostle of the Gentiles “gives us a message of fundamental importance”, where “to deepen the studies of Bible” and “developing ecumenical dialogue .
“God does not fail in his promises of salvation, and he fulfills them patiently, even in unexpected and surprising ways. But the underlying certainty is that “believers can trust in God’s mercy and promises. Even in their weakness and the many threats that threaten their faith, they can trust, in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, in the effective promise of God’s grace.”
Session of the audience of the Holy Pope with the participants of the Pauline Ecumenical Colloquium
“True ecumenism is done by walking”
Francis encouraged the participants of the Pauline Ecumenical Colloquium to continue the “academic, biblical, spiritual and fraternal dialogue”, to put “in circulation the original treasure of which each one is the bearer”, to continue the “biblical research with rigor and competence” , but allows itself “to marvel at the countless spiritual resources contained in the Pauline Epistles”, to “offer Christian communities “new words”, able to communicate in the merciful goodness of the Father, in due time of the salvation of Christ, the hope of the renewal of the Spirit”. Therefore the desire that the work of St. Paul’s scholars, “often laborious and hidden, will make the ecumenical spirit grow among the believers, a spirit of dialogue and fraternity that will help the common path to find the Lord .” Finally, the Holy Pope encourages us to continue on the ecumenical path, to “walk together, pray and work together.”
“True ecumenism is made by walking: do not be afraid to walk, to walk with others, with trust in others; and to serve: serving the poor, helping Christian communities and also those who are not -Christian. Go and serve: continue it .”