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To Dr Philip Potter
General Secretary World Council of Churches

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you” (1 Cor. 16, 23).  As the delegates and other participants of the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches gather in Vancouver, I wish to assure you of my deep pastoral interest and closeness in prayer.

I am pleased that, for this important meeting in the service of the ecumenical movement, you have decided that the central theme would be: “Jesus Christ the life of the world”. In doing this, you have reached out to Christians everywhere, to all who confess faith in Jesus Christ, believing that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Act. 4, 12).  You have affirmed our common belief that Jesus is the crucified Saviour, the Redeemer of all, the Lord of life who was “designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1, 4),  the Risen Christ whose oneness with us in all things but sin has firmly established the dignity and worth of every human being.

Ecumenical endeavours such as this bear witness to the ever increasing longing of Christians today that the prayer of Christ may be fulfilled: “That they may be one” (Io. 17, 22).  This urgent task, which still encounters many difficulties, is indeed challenging and multi-faceted. It requires obedience to the will of God and cooperation with his grace. It demands persevering faith and steadfast hope. Above all, it impels us to constant prayer and continual conversion.

As I have made pastoral visits to the Catholic Church in various parts of the world, it has been a special pleasure for me to have met with representatives of a number of the member-churches of the World Council. Many also have come to Rome to further our common efforts of dialogue and mutual understanding. Such contacts have advanced the cause of Christian unity, and I trust that the present gathering in Vancouver will bring about even further progress towards this goal for which we all long.

Upon all taking part in the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, I invoke the wisdom, light and peace of the Holy Spirit. With the words of Saint Paul I say: “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 16, 24). 

From the Vatican, 12 July 1983.



© Copyright 1983 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana