Pope Francis participates in an ecumenical prayer in Lund, Sweden, in 2016 Pope Francis participates in an ecumenical prayer in Lund, Sweden, in 2016 

Pope: ‘Ecumenism sails on the open sea of all humanity’

A new book by Presbyterian minister Marcelo Figueroa hits bookshelves on Monday, with Pope Francis offering a preface in praise of his friend’s vision of ecumenism.

By Vatican News staff reporter

“It is with great joy that I receive this literary work,” writes Pope Francis, “which at first glance looks more like a book on dialogue between religions, but in which one discovers, as one goes through it, almost an ecumenical pilgrimage: genuine, personal, and, above all, spiritual.”

The Holy Father offered his enthusiastic endorsement to the work of his friend Marcello Figueroa, a Presbyterian minister who was entrusted with bringing to life an Argentinian edition of the papal newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

The new book – entitled Reconciled Diversity: A Protestant in the Pope’s Newspaper and published by the Vatican Publishing House (LEV) – is collection of articles, contributions, and interviews published by Figueroa in L’Osservatore since 2016, covering various topics that have as their common thread the ecumenical journey between the various Christian confessions.

Ecumenical path to trod

“I always read Marcelo’s articles with attention,” the Pope says in his preface, “and and I will continue to read them because they help me to look at the ecumenical path I have travelled and the one still to be travelled, with the eyes of a brother who tries to reread and interpret my pontificate from an ecumenical perspective.”

Pope Francis says he is pleased with Figueroa’s vision of ecumenism, a concept that is at the foundation of his own pontificate.

The daily dimension of practical ecumenism, he says, “follows the path opened up by the Second Vatican Council on the basis of the apostolic biblical witness,” and “has been so enriched by my predecessors with their impetus given to ecumenical dialogue and commitment.”

The Pope concludes his preface by “enthusiastically” recommending Reconciled Diversity, and with the hope that “the Lord of reconciled diversity might use it to enlighten longing gazes, to broaden spiritual horizons beyond pertaining to faith, and to embrace restless hearts,” leading them to “a God who is with all and above all in the same common House!”

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11 March 2022, 14:50