On Friday 6 May, at the conclusion of their Plenary Session, the members, consultors and staff of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity were received in audience by Pope Francis.
In his address, Cardinal Kurt Koch, presenting the theme of the Plenary Session "Towards an Ecumenical Celebration of the 1700th Anniversary of the Council of Nicaea", mentioned some key themes: the confession of faith in Christ, the search for a common date of Easter and the synodal dimension of the Church. In this regard, he mentioned that the PCPCU had prepared and discussed a study document entitled "The Bishop of Rome. Primacy and synodality in ecumenical dialogues and responses to the Encyclical Ut unum sint".
In his speech, the Holy Father referred to the pandemic that "paradoxically .... made us realise how close we really are to one another and how responsible we are for one another". Furthermore, he recalled that "in the face of the barbarity of war, [the] yearning for unity must be nourished once again". In this context, he underlined the importance of the anniversary of the Council of Nicea, stating that "the style and decisions of the Council of Nicea must enlighten the present ecumenical journey and bring about new concrete steps towards the goal of fully restoring Christian unity". Noting that the 1700th anniversary of the first Council of Nicaea coincides with the Jubilee year, he expressed the hope that "the celebration of the next Jubilee will have a relevant ecumenical dimension".
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