19 January 2012

From January 18th to the 25th is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. You may want to check out some of the documents of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, particularly the  2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity booklet. As well, the pope dedicated his Wednesday's General Audience to this week of prayer.

For the past 12 years, I've kept the picture below by my computer where I can see it when I write . It gives me hope that some day there will be unity in Christ's Church. It was taken on January 18, 2000. On that day Bl. Pope John Paul II opened the fourth and final holy door in Rome at St. Paul's outside the walls, a symbolic proclamation of the Jubilee year.

In the middle is Bl. Pope John Paul II. To the left is Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, head of the Anglican Church. To the right is Metropolitan Athanasios representing Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, head of the Greek Orthodox Church, who is first among the orthodox patriarchs. They are kneeling at the threshold of the Holy Door before entering. The ritual only called for the pope to kneel; however, Archbishop Carey and Metropolitan Athanasios were so moved by the moment that they spontaneously joined the pope; first Archbishop Carey, and then Metropolitan Athanasios.

Also in attendance at this event, though not in the picture, were Bishop Christian Krause, president of the Lutheran World Federation; Archbishop Antonius J. Glazemaker of the Old Catholic-Union of Utrecht Church; the Rev. Frances Alguire, president of the World Methodist Council; the Rev. Richard L. Hamm, president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Pentecostal leader Cecil M. Robeck Jr.; Bishop Jonas Jonson of the World Council of Churches; and many others.

All together, 80% of Christianity was represented at this event. Very inspiring.

If you don't know my history, I was raised in the Lutheran Church, represented at the above event by Bishop Krause, and converted to the church of Christ, which is very closely related to the Disciples of Christ, represented at the above event by Rev. Hamm. Of course, most members of the church of Christ will deny all connection with the Disciples of Christ, as well as any connection with many other churches that use the name "church of Christ." My connection with the church of Christ led me to full communion with the Church of Christ, that is, the catholic Church in union with the Pope of Rome.