ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 22 April 1993
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am happy to welcome you, Bishop Wadensjö and members of the Diocese of Karlstad, on the occasion of your visit to Rome. In this Easter Octave, when the Church sets her gaze on the Risen Lord "who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification" (Rom. 4: 25). I cordially greet you with the words of the Apostle Paul: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (1Cor. 1: 3). With great joy I recall the ecumenical service held in St Peter’s Basilica on 5 October 1991 to celebrate the Six Hundredth Anniversary of the canonization of Saint Bridgit of Sweden. That celebration vividly pointed to a rich common heritage which Catholics and Lutherans share and which we must continue to foster.
According to the Scriptures, the first community of those who believed the testimony to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead "were of one heart and soul" (Acts. 4: 32). Although during the course of centuries full communion among those "born of water and the Spirit" (Jn. 3: 5) has sadly been fractured, I wish to reassure you that the Catholic Church remains irrevocably committed to restoring that full visible unity.
With the power of the Risen Christ at work within us (Cf. Eph. 3: 20), let us pursue that ecumenical journey together. By our persistent prayer, sincere and honest dialogue, and common defense of the authentic religious and ethical values rooted in the Gospel, let us remain confident that God will bring to completion the good work that he has already begun in us (Cf. Phil. 1: 6).
May "he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead" (Rom. 8: 11) bestow upon all of you abundant blessings of peace and joy.
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