Vatican City, 7 March 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father met with Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, secretary general of the World Council for Churches, accompanied by a delegation. The Pope remarked that this encounter “marks an important chapter in the long and fruitful relationship between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches”, and acknowledged “the service it performs in the cause of unity between believers in Christ”.
“Since its creation, the World Council of Churches has offered a great contribution to forming the sensibility of all Christians with regard to the fact that our divisions represent a major obstacle to our witness to the Gospel in the world. These divisions must not be accepted with resignation, as if they were simply an inevitable component of the historic experience of the Church. If Christians ignore the Lord's call to unity, they risk ignoring the Lord Himself and the salvation He offers through His Body, the Church: 'there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name … by which we must be saved.'”
“The way to full and visible communion is a path which still proves today to be arduous and uphill. The Spirit, however, urges us not to be afraid, to go ahead with trust, and not to content ourselves with the progress that we have been able to experience in these decades. Prayer is fundamental on this path. Only in a spirit of humble and persistent prayer can we attain the necessary farsightedness, discernment and motivations for offering our service to the human family, in all its weakness and with all its needs, both spiritual and material”.