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Thursday, 13 August 1970


Dear Friends in Christ,

It is an honor for Us to receive today our Methodist friends and extend to you all a special welcome and greeting in the Lord.

Your presence here brings many thoughts to Our mind and suggests to Us a number of considerations. You have come here, We know, after visiting the land where Jesus was born, where he lived and died and rose again. We are sure that the memories of Christian beginnings are vivid in your minds. You have seen the places where the Good News of salvation was first announced and whence it began to spread to the world through the power of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the Apostles.

We take the happy occasion of Our encounter with you at this moment to recall the historical teachings of the Lord Jesus. It is from him that we have learned the meaning of Christian love and brotherhood. It is from him that we have learned the value of Christian unity and how necessary it is to pursue it in patience, in humility and in hope.

For this reason We would like to mention once again a profound conviction of the Second Vatican Council: “There can be no true ecumenism worthy of the name without interior conversion. For it is from newness of attitudes of mind, from self-denial and unstinted love, that desires of unity take their rise . . .» (Unitatis redintegratio, 7). And We would like to think that in our fraternal encounter of today the Spirit of Christ is present and inspiring us to pursue our goals in accordance with the Lord’s desire: “That they may all be one” (Io. 17:21).

At this time we wish to express our prayerful good wishes for the work of the third meeting of the Mixed Commission of Catholics and Methodists shortly to take place in the United States. We pray that God may bless that encounter as well as ours today.

Upon all of you, dear Friends, We invoke the special graces of the Spirit.


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