THE POPE called for a fresh effort for Christian unity while respecting Christian doctrine, in a meeting with 50 Christian leaders at St Mary’s RC Cathedral, Sydney, last Friday, as Anglican bishops from around the world met in Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference.
“I think you will agree that the ecumenical movement has reached a critical juncture,” he told the assembled leaders during his visit to Australia for World Youth Day. “We must guard against any temptation to view doctrine as divisive and hence an impediment to the seemingly more pressing and immediate task of improving the world in which we live.”
During his visit he also addressed 400,000 pilgrims at the final World Youth Day mass at Randwick racecourse. He asked them to build something in their lives that would endure. He followed up his earlier apology, on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, to those abused by priests, by speaking personally to two survivors.
“We were moved by the Pope’s compassionate response to us. . . He said he hoped the meeting would help us and others to move forward in our lives,” they said.
The next World Youth Day is in Madrid in 2011.