Ecumenical reflection in "Fratelli tutti", the new encyclical of Pope Francis

5 Oct 2020

In his new encyclical “Fratelli tutti” signed at the tomb of Saint Francis on 3 October, Pope Francis speaks of the contribution of Christian unity to the wider unity of all humanity in the following words:

“We ask God to strengthen unity within the Church, a unity enriched by differences reconciled by the working of the Spirit. For ‘in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body’ (1 Cor 12:13), in which each member has his or her distinctive contribution to make. As Saint Augustine said, ‘the ear sees through the eye, and the eye hears through the ear’. It is also urgent to continue to bear witness to the journey of encounter between the different Christian confessions. We cannot forget Christ’s desire ‘that they may all be one’ (cf. Jn 17:21). Hearing his call, we recognize with sorrow that the process of globalization still lacks the prophetic and spiritual contribution of unity among Christians”.

The Holy Father continues this ecumenical reflection by quoting the Common Declaration he signed in 2014 with Patriarch Bartholomew: “Even as we make this journey towards full communion, we already have the duty to offer common witness to the love of God for all people by working together in the service of humanity”.

Pope Francis concludes his encyclical with the following ecumenical prayer:


An Ecumenical Christian Prayer

O God, Trinity of love,

from the profound communion of your divine life,
pour out upon us a torrent of fraternal love.
Grant us the love reflected in the actions of Jesus,
in his family of Nazareth,
and in the early Christian community.

Grant that we Christians may live the Gospel,
discovering Christ in each human being,
recognizing him crucified
in the sufferings of the abandoned
and forgotten of our world,
and risen in each brother or sister
who makes a new start.

Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves. Amen.