Francis received members of the International Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and Protestant Followers of Christ. He repeated that Christian unity is achieved by walking and praying with charity.
Michel Raviart – Vatican
The Holy Spirit is “a memory and guide that opens new and unexpected paths, where paths we thought were closed or fenced off.” This was confirmed by Pope Francis, who met this morning with members of the International Committee for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Followers of Christ, a Protestant church rooted in the United States and Canada. The dialogue that began in 1977 in the sixth phase of work – continuing until 2027 – had the theme of “Serving the Spirit”. “In these times when faith is not easy,” Francis said, “we are united by the same trust that the Apostle Peter wanted to convey.”
Keep the community young Christian
The Pope stressed that “when we approach the Holy Scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit in prayer and with an open heart, we allow Him to speak and act in us.” This is his “helpful memory, which reminds us of what matters in life and reminds us that “nothing is impossible for God.” As the Second Vatican Council states, the Holy Spirit is also a “guide” and “keeps the youth of the Christian community.” In it, “we rejoice in proclaiming Jesus Lord and Savior, and we find strength to continue to praise, glorify, and exalt His name,” while “keeping our souls from temptations” such as sorrow, self-referencing, and inferiority.
Harmony transcends “business”balances
Francis stressed that Spirit “is the true hero of the mission,” and with a view of faith his work can be seen “even beyond the borders of our communities,” and “if we are obedient to him,” he will know how to reconcile even with what we find it difficult to reconcile:
Soul is harmony so don’t forget that. “Divisions” are allowed: let us think of the morning of Pentecost, when there was a great “division” in the various talents … But then the creation of harmony, which is not a “negotiation of balances”, no: harmony goes further. This is the way of the soul.
Walk and praytogether
“Therefore, let us not be afraid to walk the paths of harmony indicated by the Spirit,” the Holy Father concluded, recalling the historic meeting between Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople in Jerusalem in 1964:
On the path of ecclesiastical communion, but also in dialogue with other Churches and Christian Communities, one thing has always made me think: what Patriarch Athenagoras said, jokingly, to Paul VI: let’s send all theologians to an island and walk together. Christian unity is achieved by walking together. Theologians are certainly necessary: to study, to speak, to discuss; But in the meantime we walk and pray together and do good. For me, this is the path that does not disappoint.