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|Ut unum sint|
Ioannes Paulus PP. II
1995 05 25
IntraText CT - Text
Contribution of the Catholic Church to the quest for Christian unity
86. The Constitution Lumen Gentium, in a fundamental affirmation echoed by the Decree Unitatis Redintegratio,141 states that the one Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church.142 The Decree on Ecumenism emphasizes the presence in her of the fullness (plenitudo) of the means of salvation.143 Full unity will come about when all share in the fullness of the means of salvation entrusted by Christ to his Church.
87. Along the way that leads to full unity, ecumenical dialogue works to awaken a reciprocal fraternal assistance, whereby Communities strive to give in mutual exchange what each one needs in order to grow towards definitive fullness in accordance with God's plan (cf. Eph 4:11-13). I have said how we are aware, as the Catholic Church, that we have received much from the witness borne by other Churches and Ecclesial Communities to certain common Christian values, from their study of those values, and even from the way in which they have emphasized and experienced them. Among the achievements of the last thirty years, this reciprocal fraternal influence has had an important place. At the stage which we have now reached,144 this process of mutual enrichment must be taken seriously into account. Based on the communion which already exists as a result of the ecclesial elements present in the Christian communities, this process will certainly be a force impelling towards full and visible communion, the desired goal of the journey we are making. Here we have the ecumenical expression of the Gospel law of sharing. This leads me to state once more: "We must take every care to meet the legitimate desires and expectations of our Christian brethren, coming to know their way of thinking and their sensibilities ... The talents of each must be developed for the utility and the advantage of all".145