RADIO VATICANA REPORT/IMAGE: The profound spiritual connection between the desire for Christian unity and the desire for authentic liberty was the focus of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks before the Angelus prayer with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square this Sunday. Speaking ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father recalled the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which opened this past Wednesday: We will all be changed by the victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ, taken from the 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.
for the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been prepared by a working
group composed of representatives of the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church,
Old Catholic and Protestant Churches active in Poland. “In effect,” said Pope
Benedict, “Poland has known a long history of courageous struggle against many
different adversities, and has repeatedly given proof of great determination,
animated by faith.” He went on to say, “Through the course of centuries, Polish
Christians have spontaneously intuited a spiritual dimension in their desire for
freedom, and they have understood that the true victory can be achieved only if
it is accompanied by a profound interior transformation.”
It was a
subject to which the Holy Father returned in his English language
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present
at today’s Angelus. This week, Christians throughout the world mark the Week of
Prayer for Christian Unity. We are confident that, as Saint Paul says, “We will
all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. 1 Cor 15: 51-58).
Let us renew our prayer for the unity of all of Christ’s followers, and deepen
our resolve to be one in him. Upon each of you and your loved ones at home, I
invoke God’s blessings of peace and joy.
Pope Benedict also had greetings
for those who begin lunar New Year celebrations on Monday. “In the present world
situation of economic and social crisis,” said Pope Benedict, “I express the
hope that the new year be marked by justice and peace, that it bring relief to
those who suffer, and that young people especially, with their enthusiasm and
their idealistic drive, might offer new hope to the world.