Pope’s unity message comes with warning

 — Nov. 24, 198624 nov. 1986

[Reuters] Pope John Paul II expressed strong support Monday for Christian unity but warned that Catholics had important disagreements with other churches that could not be compromised.

At an ecumenical service in a Christchurch Catholic cathedral, on the last day of his visit to New Zealand, the Pope said that despite progress toward unity there were still real and serious divisions in the Christian community.

The pontiff, winding up the fourth stage of a six-nation tour, said Catholic commitment to ecumenism was irreversible.

“At the same time I am aware that the Catholic participation makes new demands of the other churches and ecclesiastical communities taking part in the ecumenical movement,” he said.

“We are convinced that the goal is not simply partnership. It is nothing less than the fullness of communion in a visible organic unity. The ecumenical way cannot be one of reduction.”

The Pope’s remarks appeared to be a subtle warning to New Zealand bishops who plan next spring to make the rare move for a Catholic hierarchy of joining other denominations in a revamped national council of churches.

His 48-hour visit to New Zealand appears to have failed to live up to the hopes of local church leaders that his charismatic presence would revitalize Roman Catholicism, which, like other religions, is in decline here under modern pressures.

On Sunday the pontiff called on world leaders to have the courage to promote world peace. But he made no reference to the sensitive issue of New Zealand’s strong antinuclear stance.

Wellington opposes French nuclear tests in the Pacific and has been effectively expelled from its long-term defense alliance with the United States because of its ban on port calls by nuclear-armed or nuclear-powered warships.

The Pope celebrated mass here before leaving for Australia.

In his homily the Pope said New Zealand, with its large Maori and Polynesian minorities, could give an example of racial harmony to the rest of the world.

Posted: Nov. 24, 1986 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=6415
Categories: NewsIn this article: Catholic, Christian unity, ecumenism, John Paul II
Transmis : 24 nov. 1986 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=6415
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Catholic, Christian unity, ecumenism, John Paul II

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