ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO A DELEGATION OF THE TAIWAN NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
Thursday, 7 December 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I offer a cordial greeting to you, the officers and members of the National Council of Churches of Taiwan, and I thank you for your kind words of greeting.
As you know, I have just returned from a visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh. There I was thus able to experience the vitality and the enterprise that mark the peoples of Asia, but also the suffering face of a humanity all too often deprived of material prosperity and social well-being. There are many areas in which we, as Christians, are called to work together to promote the dignity of each human being and to support those who are less fortunate than ourselves. I am encouraged by what you have told me: “Without love, peace is not truly peace; without love, the world descends into chaos”. As Christians, we are bound above all to practise the Lord’s command: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples” (Jn 13:34-35). The love of God, made incarnate in life, is thus our royal road, and the basis of our common responsibility before the world to account for the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).
The Catholic Church, through the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference, has been committed, from the establishment of the National Council of Churches of Taiwan in 1991, to promoting greater unity between believers in the Lord. The strengthening of relations between the Christian confessions, and the shared proclamation of Jesus, also through works of charity and educational projects aimed at the young, will prove beneficial to society as a whole. Building a better future for all requires, in a particular way, educating the younger generations in the art of dialogue, so that they can become protagonists of a much-needed culture of harmony and reconciliation. This will encourage them to pursue, with God’s help, the path that leads from conflict to communion, a path that has shown itself so fruitful in the ecumenical journey.
I thank each of you for your commitment to pursuing this path by strengthening fraternity and cooperation among your communities. Let us continue to journey together in the primacy of charity towards that day when Jesus’ prayer will be realized: “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). I ask God to bless you, your dear ones and your communities, and I ask you to remember me in your own prayers, and I invite you to recite the Lord’s Prayer together.
[Recital of the Lord’s Prayer]
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