The following is the text of Fr. Federico Lombardi's weekly editorial: Evangelisation and unity.“The New evangelisation can be more advantageous if all Christians announce together the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and give a common answer to the thirst of our times.” These were some of the words of Pope Benedict XVI at the General Audience on January 18th, at the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Once again, it is clear how ecumenical commitment is essential, both within the Church’s mission in today’s world and within the pontificate of Benedict XVI. The theme of the “new evangelisation” that accompanies us towards the Synod of Bishops next autumn is intrinsically ecumenical, and the “Year of the Faith” proclaimed by the Pope will have an ecumenical dimension on a universal level too, highlighted by specific celebrations, as explained by a recent Note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. That Note recalls how, “The unity of all Christians is one of the main purposes of the Second Vatican Council,” which has reached its fiftieth anniversary.
The spiritual thirst of our time calls for a credible and effective shared response, however difficult it might be to achieve. Speaking to an ecumenical delegation of Lutherans from Finland on Thursday, the Pope observed that, “Recently ethical issues have become one of the points of divergence between Christians.” Nevertheless, “A profound agreement on matters of anthropology,” said Pope Benedict, “can then help society and politicians to make wise and just decisions regarding important questions in the area of human life, family and sexuality.” In short: our goal is unity for communion in the faith, unity for serving the journey of humanity.