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Friday, October 27, 2006


VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Jose Ramos-Horta, prime minister of East Timor, accompanied by an entourage.

 - Fauzia Mufti Abbas, ambassador of Pakistan, on her farewell visit.

- Four prelates from the Irish Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Laurence Forristal of Ossory.

    - Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam.

    - Bishop Thomas Flynn of Achonry.

    - Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI received participants in a meeting of the Christian World Communions who, over the last few days, have been dedicating their attention to the question of "Visions of Christian Unity."

  Addressing them in English, the Pope said: "For decades the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions has provided a forum for fruitful contacts between the various ecclesial communities. This has enabled their representatives to build that reciprocal trust needed to engage seriously in bringing the richness of different Christian traditions to serve the common call to discipleship."

  "It is clear to us all that today's world is in need of a new evangelization, a fresh accounting on the part of Christians for the hope that is in them. Yet those who profess that Jesus Christ is Lord are tragically divided and cannot always give a consistent common witness. Herein lies an enormous responsibility for us all."

  The Holy Father indicated that he was "glad to see that the theme of your meeting ... focuses on a basic ecumenical issue. The theological dialogues in which many Christian World Communions have been engaged are characterized by a commitment to move beyond the things that divide, towards the unity in Christ which we seek. However daunting the journey, we must not lose sight of the final goal: full visible communion in Christ and in the Church.

  "We may feel discouraged when progress is slow," he added, "but there is too much at stake to turn back. On the contrary, there are good reasons to forge ahead, as my predecessor Pope John Paul II pointed out in his Encyclical Letter 'Ut Unum Sint' on the Catholic Church's ecumenical commitment, where he speaks of brotherhood rediscovered and greater solidarity in the service of humanity."

  "The Apostle assures us that 'the Spirit helps us in our weakness'," the Pope concluded. "Though there are many obstacles still to be overcome, we firmly believe that the Holy Spirit is ever present and will guide us along the right path.
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