Christian Baptism is "the point of departure for the entire ecumenical movement," Pope Benedict XVI told a meeting of Christian leaders in Sydney on July 18. But ecumenical work, he added, should always aim toward completion in a shared celebration of the Eucharist.Catholic World News
To progress further toward genuine unity, the Pope said, Christians must address their differences with candor. "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," he said.
Pope Benedict illustrated his own point by reminding the ecumenical assembly that the Catholic Church is observing a Pauline year, which he as Roman Pontiff declared. St. Paul, he observed, emphasized that the Church is "built 'built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets' with Jesus Himself as the cornerstone." Every Christian, the Pope continued, bears a responsibility to build up the whole of the Church, "to ensure that the edifice stands strong so that others will be attracted to enter."
Ecumenical work, the Pope continued, involves not merely an exchange of ideas but, more importantly, an exchange of gifts. Ultimately, he insisted, the effort "points toward a common celebration of the Eucharist, which Christ entrusted to his apostles as the sacrament of the Church's unity par excellence."