Pope in Geneva: ecumenical prayer, “our world, torn by all too many divisions, begs for unity”. “Walking together is not a ploy”

(Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC)

The “path” of ecumenism “has a clear aim, that of unity”. Pope Francis recalled this at the end of his first speech in Switzerland, during the ecumenical prayer at the World Council of Churches (WCC). “The opposite path, that of division, leads to conflict and breakup. We need but open our history books”, the Pontiff remarked, inviting those present to “set out ever anew on the path of communion that leads to peace”. Division, the Pope said in the spirit of the Council, is “openly contrary to the will of Christ, but is also a scandal to the world and harms the most holy of causes: the preaching of the Gospel to every creature”. “The Lord asks us for unity; our world, torn by all too many divisions that affect the most vulnerable, begs for unity”, Pope Francis emphasised. “I have desired to come here, a pilgrim in quest of unity and peace”, he added, explaining the aim of his trip to Geneva. “I thank God because here I have found you, brothers and sisters already making this same journey”. “For us as Christians, walking together is not a ploy to strengthen our own positions, but an act of obedience to the Lord and love for our world”. “Let us ask the Father to help us walk together all the more resolutely in the ways of the Spirit. May the Cross guide our steps, because there, in Jesus, the walls of separation have already been torn down and all enmity overcome. In him, we will come to see that, for all our failings, nothing will ever separate us from his love”.