On Thursday 23 February, Pope Francis received in private audience a delegation of young priests and monks of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in Rome on a study visit organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity.
In his address delivered to the delegation, the Holy Father outlined three elements common to the journey of the disciples to Emmaus and the ecumenical journey: “That journey to Emmaus can symbolize in some way the ecumenical journey of Christians towards full communion.”
The first is that “the more we walk together, the more we will be mysteriously accompanied by Christ, for unity is a shared pilgrimage.” But the search for unity is also dialogue: “dialogue of charity, dialogue of truth and dialogue of life”, recalled Pope Francis, taking up the three dimensions indicated by the Ecumenical Vademecum issued by the DPCU. Finally, unity is desire: “we need to desire unity with prayer, with all our heart and strength, insistently and tirelessly. For if the desire for unity fades, it is not enough to pursue dialogue: everything turns into a formality, into something expected.”
The audience concluded with the praying of the Our Father.
The delegation was accompanied by Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the DPCU, who introduced the participants in the Study visit, and Revd Fr Hyacinthe Destivelle, OP, Official of the Eastern section.
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