THAT THEY MAY BE ONE
Ut Unum Sint
Encyclical of Pope John Paul II promulgated on May 25, 1995
CHAPTER I - THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S COMMITMENT TO ECUMENISM
God's plan and communion The way of ecumenism: the way of the Church Renewal and conversion The fundamental importance of doctrine The primacy of prayer Ecumenical dialogue Local structures of dialogue Dialogue as an examination of conscience Dialogue as a means of resolving disagreements Practical cooperation CHAPTER II - THE FRUITS OF DIALOGUE
Brotherhood rediscovered Solidarity in the service of humanity Approaching one another through the Word of God and through divine worship Appreciating the endowments present among other Christians The growth of communion Dialogue with the Churches of the East Resuming contacts Sister Churches Progress in dialogue Relations with the Ancient Churches of the East Dialogue with other Churches and Ecclesial Communities in the West Ecclesial relations Achievements of cooperation CHAPTER III - QUANTA EST NOBIS VIA?
Continuing and deepening dialogue Reception of the results already achieved Continuing spiritual ecumenism and bearing witness to holiness Contribution of the Catholic Church to the quest for Christian unity The ministry of unity of the Bishop of Rome The communion of all particular Churches with the Church of Rome: a necessary condition for unity Full unity and evangelization EXHORTATION
<UT UNUM SINT>! The call for Christian unity made by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council with such impassioned commitment is finding an ever greater echo in the hearts of believers, especially as the Year 2000 approaches, a year which Christians will celebrate as a sacred Jubilee, the commemoration of the Incarnation of the Son of God, who became man in order to save humanity. The courageous witness of so many martyrs of our century, including members of Churches and Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church, gives new vigor to the Council's call and reminds us of our duty to listen to and put into practice its exhortation. These brothers and sisters of ours, united in the selfless offering of their lives for the Kingdom of God, are the most powerful proof that every factor of division can be transcended and overcome in the total gift of self for the sake of the Gospel. <Christ calls all his disciples to unity>. My earnest desire is to renew this call today, to propose it once more with determination, repeating what I said at the Roman Colosseum on Good Friday 1994, at the end of the meditation on the <Via Cruces> prepared by my Venerable Brother Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. There I stated that believers in Christ, united in following in the footsteps of the martyrs, cannot remain divided. If they wish truly and effectively to oppose the world's tendency to reduce to powerlessness the Mystery of Redemption, they must <profess together the same truth about the Cross.> The Cross! An anti- Christian outlook seeks to minimize the Cross, to empty it of its meaning, and to deny that in it man has the source of his new life. It claims that the Cross is unable to provide either vision or hope. Man, it says, is nothing but an earthly being, who must live as if God did not exist. 2. No one is unaware of the challenge which all this poses to believers. They cannot fail to meet this challenge. Indeed, how could they refuse to do everything possible, with God's help, to break down the walls of division and distrust, to overcome obstacles and prejudices which thwart the proclamation of the Gospel of salvation in the Cross of Jesus, the one Redeemer of man, of every individual? I thank the Lord that he has led us to make progress along the path of unity and communion between Christians, a path difficult but so full of joy. Interconfessional dialogues at the theological level have produced positive and...
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