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"That They May All Be One": The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

By Kathy Schiffer


Has Christ Divided Us?


That's the theme for the 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, the Octave of Sts. Peter and Paul.  Drawn from 1 Corinthians 1:13, the week is intended to draw believers toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."


But as we look around, it's clear that Christ's prayer has not been fulfilled:  According to Wikipedia, there are now 41,000 Christian denominations. 


WHAT WENT WRONG?


THAT THEY MAY ALL BE ONE:FROM THE REFORMATION TO CHRISTIAN UNITY

I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.–John 17:20-23
In sixteenth century Germany, an Augustinian friar by the name of Martin Luther became concerned about things he saw happening in the Church. He saw some priests, even some bishops, who were engaged in practices which he considered to be wrong—particularly the sale of indulgences.

And there was, indeed, a moral problem at the time: Corruption had crept into the Church. Pope Leo X had authorized the sale of special “jubilee indulgences” in the cities and principalities of Germany. The indulgences were plenary, meaning that for those who purchased them, all sin and eternal and temporal punishment would be forgiven. Half of the money raised from the sale of indulgences would be used to finance the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome; the other half would be used by the archbishop of Mainz to pay off a loan.

Luther drafted a series of ninety-five statements in Latin—offering his reflections on indulgences, good works, repentance and other topics. The Castle Church in Wittenberg faced the main thoroughfare, and the heavy church door served as a public bulletin board, a place for posting important notices. So it was that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his list of “Ninety-Five Theses” to the door of the Castle Church.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES - THE SPLITTING OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

 

Luther had hoped that his Theses would initiate an academic discussion—not serve as the agenda for a major reform of the Catholic Church.
However, within weeks the Theses were translated into German, then reproduced using the new moveable-type printing press. They were widely circulated through Germany, and soon became a topic for discussion through all of Europe. Three years later, amid the international attention, Luther was excommunicated by the pope and declared a heretic and outlaw. The Reformation had begun.


Just as Martin Luther did not anticipate the huge response his Ninety-Five Theses would receive, he did not foresee the further splintering of Protestantism into some 38,000 Christian denominations (the number reported in the Atlas of World Christianity, published in 2010). If, as Luther’s movement proposed, there is no authority vested in the Church, then there is no reason not to break off and begin a new movement within Christianity; and in less than 500 years, the result has been the splintering of Christ’s Church into ever more movements and denominations. It is a great scandal that Christ’s high priestly prayer to the Father—that we may be one in order that the world will see—has been thwarted.

THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:  REVERSING THE TREND TOWARD DIVISION 

 

In 1908 Father Paul Wattson, founder of an Anglican religious community which later became part of the Catholic Church, established a “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”–a week to pray with our Christian brothers and sisters of other denominations, and to celebrate those areas where we find common ground.  His initiative received the blessing of Pope St. Pius X and was later promoted by Pope Benedict XV, who encouraged its celebration throughout the Catholic Church.

The Second Vatican Council reaffirmed the importance of this quest for unity among followers of Jesus Christ.

Each year the theme of the week is chosen by an ecumenical group representing a different region of the world. This year’s theme, “All shall be changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord,” was selected by the Churches of French Canada.  It is drawn from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

Wednesday, January 18 began the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Pope Benedict XVI, addressing more than 8,000 pilgrims at the Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square on January 22, called the quest for Christian unity “a common response to the spiritual hunger of our times.” He acknowledged that the division within the community of believers is a great challenge for new evangelization, which may be more fruitful if all Christians proclaim together the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and give a joint response to the spiritual hunger of our times.

Pope Francis, at his weekly General Audience on January 22, spoke about the scandal of division.  The English-language synthesis, read out after the main reflection delivered by Pope Francis in Italian, said, 

We know that Christ has not been divided; yet we must sincerely recognize that our communities continue to experience divisions which are a source of scandal and weaken our witness to the Gospel.

In reproaching the Corinthians for their divisions, Paul reminds them to rejoice in the great spiritual gifts which they have received. His words encourage us to rejoice in the gifts God has given to other Christians, gifts which we can receive from them for our enrichment. To be able to do this calls for humility, discernment and constant conversion.





"That They May All Be One": The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

By Kathy Schiffer


Has Christ Divided Us?


That's the theme for the 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, the Octave of Sts. Peter and Paul.  Drawn from 1 Corinthians 1:13, the week is intended to draw believers toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."


But as we look around, it's clear that Christ's prayer has not been fulfilled:  According to Wikipedia, there are now 41,000 Christian denominations. 


WHAT WENT WRONG?


THAT THEY MAY ALL BE ONE:FROM THE REFORMATION TO CHRISTIAN UNITY

I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.–John 17:20-23
In sixteenth century Germany, an Augustinian friar by the name of Martin Luther became concerned about things he saw happening in the Church. He saw some priests, even some bishops, who were engaged in practices which he considered to be wrong—particularly the sale of indulgences.

And there was, indeed, a moral problem at the time: Corruption had crept into the Church. Pope Leo X had authorized the sale of special “jubilee indulgences” in the cities and principalities of Germany. The indulgences were plenary, meaning that for those who purchased them, all sin and eternal and temporal punishment would be forgiven. Half of the money raised from the sale of indulgences would be used to finance the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome; the other half would be used by the archbishop of Mainz to pay off a loan.

Luther drafted a series of ninety-five statements in Latin—offering his reflections on indulgences, good works, repentance and other topics. The Castle Church in Wittenberg faced the main thoroughfare, and the heavy church door served as a public bulletin board, a place for posting important notices. So it was that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his list of “Ninety-Five Theses” to the door of the Castle Church.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES - THE SPLITTING OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

 

Luther had hoped that his Theses would initiate an academic discussion—not serve as the agenda for a major reform of the Catholic Church.
However, within weeks the Theses were translated into German, then reproduced using the new moveable-type printing press. They were widely circulated through Germany, and soon became a topic for discussion through all of Europe. Three years later, amid the international attention, Luther was excommunicated by the pope and declared a heretic and outlaw. The Reformation had begun.


Just as Martin Luther did not anticipate the huge response his Ninety-Five Theses would receive, he did not foresee the further splintering of Protestantism into some 38,000 Christian denominations (the number reported in the Atlas of World Christianity, published in 2010). If, as Luther’s movement proposed, there is no authority vested in the Church, then there is no reason not to break off and begin a new movement within Christianity; and in less than 500 years, the result has been the splintering of Christ’s Church into ever more movements and denominations. It is a great scandal that Christ’s high priestly prayer to the Father—that we may be one in order that the world will see—has been thwarted.

THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:  REVERSING THE TREND TOWARD DIVISION 

 

In 1908 Father Paul Wattson, founder of an Anglican religious community which later became part of the Catholic Church, established a “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”–a week to pray with our Christian brothers and sisters of other denominations, and to celebrate those areas where we find common ground.  His initiative received the blessing of Pope St. Pius X and was later promoted by Pope Benedict XV, who encouraged its celebration throughout the Catholic Church.

The Second Vatican Council reaffirmed the importance of this quest for unity among followers of Jesus Christ.

Each year the theme of the week is chosen by an ecumenical group representing a different region of the world. This year’s theme, “All shall be changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord,” was selected by the Churches of French Canada.  It is drawn from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

Wednesday, January 18 began the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Pope Benedict XVI, addressing more than 8,000 pilgrims at the Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square on January 22, called the quest for Christian unity “a common response to the spiritual hunger of our times.” He acknowledged that the division within the community of believers is a great challenge for new evangelization, which may be more fruitful if all Christians proclaim together the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and give a joint response to the spiritual hunger of our times.

Pope Francis, at his weekly General Audience on January 22, spoke about the scandal of division.  The English-language synthesis, read out after the main reflection delivered by Pope Francis in Italian, said, 

We know that Christ has not been divided; yet we must sincerely recognize that our communities continue to experience divisions which are a source of scandal and weaken our witness to the Gospel.

In reproaching the Corinthians for their divisions, Paul reminds them to rejoice in the great spiritual gifts which they have received. His words encourage us to rejoice in the gifts God has given to other Christians, gifts which we can receive from them for our enrichment. To be able to do this calls for humility, discernment and constant conversion.





"That They May All Be One": The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

By Kathy Schiffer


Has Christ Divided Us?


That's the theme for the 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, the Octave of Sts. Peter and Paul.  Drawn from 1 Corinthians 1:13, the week is intended to draw believers toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."


But as we look around, it's clear that Christ's prayer has not been fulfilled:  According to Wikipedia, there are now 41,000 Christian denominations. 


WHAT WENT WRONG?


THAT THEY MAY ALL BE ONE:FROM THE REFORMATION TO CHRISTIAN UNITY

I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.–John 17:20-23
In sixteenth century Germany, an Augustinian friar by the name of Martin Luther became concerned about things he saw happening in the Church. He saw some priests, even some bishops, who were engaged in practices which he considered to be wrong—particularly the sale of indulgences.

And there was, indeed, a moral problem at the time: Corruption had crept into the Church. Pope Leo X had authorized the sale of special “jubilee indulgences” in the cities and principalities of Germany. The indulgences were plenary, meaning that for those who purchased them, all sin and eternal and temporal punishment would be forgiven. Half of the money raised from the sale of indulgences would be used to finance the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome; the other half would be used by the archbishop of Mainz to pay off a loan.

Luther drafted a series of ninety-five statements in Latin—offering his reflections on indulgences, good works, repentance and other topics. The Castle Church in Wittenberg faced the main thoroughfare, and the heavy church door served as a public bulletin board, a place for posting important notices. So it was that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his list of “Ninety-Five Theses” to the door of the Castle Church.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES - THE SPLITTING OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

 

Luther had hoped that his Theses would initiate an academic discussion—not serve as the agenda for a major reform of the Catholic Church.
However, within weeks the Theses were translated into German, then reproduced using the new moveable-type printing press. They were widely circulated through Germany, and soon became a topic for discussion through all of Europe. Three years later, amid the international attention, Luther was excommunicated by the pope and declared a heretic and outlaw. The Reformation had begun.


Just as Martin Luther did not anticipate the huge response his Ninety-Five Theses would receive, he did not foresee the further splintering of Protestantism into some 38,000 Christian denominations (the number reported in the Atlas of World Christianity, published in 2010). If, as Luther’s movement proposed, there is no authority vested in the Church, then there is no reason not to break off and begin a new movement within Christianity; and in less than 500 years, the result has been the splintering of Christ’s Church into ever more movements and denominations. It is a great scandal that Christ’s high priestly prayer to the Father—that we may be one in order that the world will see—has been thwarted.

THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:  REVERSING THE TREND TOWARD DIVISION 

 

In 1908 Father Paul Wattson, founder of an Anglican religious community which later became part of the Catholic Church, established a “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”–a week to pray with our Christian brothers and sisters of other denominations, and to celebrate those areas where we find common ground.  His initiative received the blessing of Pope St. Pius X and was later promoted by Pope Benedict XV, who encouraged its celebration throughout the Catholic Church.

The Second Vatican Council reaffirmed the importance of this quest for unity among followers of Jesus Christ.

Each year the theme of the week is chosen by an ecumenical group representing a different region of the world. This year’s theme, “All shall be changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord,” was selected by the Churches of French Canada.  It is drawn from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

Wednesday, January 18 began the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Pope Benedict XVI, addressing more than 8,000 pilgrims at the Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square on January 22, called the quest for Christian unity “a common response to the spiritual hunger of our times.” He acknowledged that the division within the community of believers is a great challenge for new evangelization, which may be more fruitful if all Christians proclaim together the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and give a joint response to the spiritual hunger of our times.

Pope Francis, at his weekly General Audience on January 22, spoke about the scandal of division.  The English-language synthesis, read out after the main reflection delivered by Pope Francis in Italian, said, 

We know that Christ has not been divided; yet we must sincerely recognize that our communities continue to experience divisions which are a source of scandal and weaken our witness to the Gospel.

In reproaching the Corinthians for their divisions, Paul reminds them to rejoice in the great spiritual gifts which they have received. His words encourage us to rejoice in the gifts God has given to other Christians, gifts which we can receive from them for our enrichment. To be able to do this calls for humility, discernment and constant conversion.





2014: A COLD March for Life


Not sure who photoshopped this shot of Dominican priests heading toward the March for Life--but it's pretty funny.

To all those who marched yesterday in the sub-zero wind chills, and to those who tried to get there but were thwarted by transportation glitches and cancellations, and to those who prayed for the cause of Life-- Thank you!


2014: A COLD March for Life


Not sure who photoshopped this shot of Dominican priests heading toward the March for Life--but it's pretty funny.

To all those who marched yesterday in the sub-zero wind chills, and to those who tried to get there but were thwarted by transportation glitches and cancellations, and to those who prayed for the cause of Life-- Thank you!


2014: A COLD March for Life


Not sure who photoshopped this shot of Dominican priests heading toward the March for Life--but it's pretty funny.

To all those who marched yesterday in the sub-zero wind chills, and to those who tried to get there but were thwarted by transportation glitches and cancellations, and to those who prayed for the cause of Life-- Thank you!


Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 22, 2014


Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 22
 
Roe V Wade Anniversary Special
 
4:00 – Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade
Based on 20 years of research, including an examination of the papers of eight of the nine Justices who voted in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Abuse of Discretion is a critical review of the behind-the-scenes deliberations that went into the Supreme Court's abortion decisions and how the mistakes made by the Justices in 1971-1973 have led to the turmoil we see today in legislation, politics, and public health. Why do the abortion decisions remain so controversial after 40 years, despite more than 50,000,000 abortions, numerous presidential elections, and a complete turnover in the Justices? Why did such a sweeping decision—with such important consequences for public health, producing such prolonged political turmoil—come from the Supreme Court in 1973? Clarke Forsythe, author of the aforementioned book, joins us.
 
5:00 – Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars
Every day, thousands of children fragile, innocent, alone are abandoned. They are brutally snuffed from the world and literally left in the trash . . . and it's all legal. Monica Miller is here to tell her story of one woman's staunch and courageous defense of those children abandoned by abortion. She has pulled the bodies of thousands of unborn babies out of dumpsters and given them a proper burial. She has photographed their bodies as well. She will tell us many fascinating tales from the front-lines of the abortion battle.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 22, 2014


Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 22
 
Roe V Wade Anniversary Special
 
4:00 – Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade
Based on 20 years of research, including an examination of the papers of eight of the nine Justices who voted in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Abuse of Discretion is a critical review of the behind-the-scenes deliberations that went into the Supreme Court's abortion decisions and how the mistakes made by the Justices in 1971-1973 have led to the turmoil we see today in legislation, politics, and public health. Why do the abortion decisions remain so controversial after 40 years, despite more than 50,000,000 abortions, numerous presidential elections, and a complete turnover in the Justices? Why did such a sweeping decision—with such important consequences for public health, producing such prolonged political turmoil—come from the Supreme Court in 1973? Clarke Forsythe, author of the aforementioned book, joins us.
 
5:00 – Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars
Every day, thousands of children fragile, innocent, alone are abandoned. They are brutally snuffed from the world and literally left in the trash . . . and it's all legal. Monica Miller is here to tell her story of one woman's staunch and courageous defense of those children abandoned by abortion. She has pulled the bodies of thousands of unborn babies out of dumpsters and given them a proper burial. She has photographed their bodies as well. She will tell us many fascinating tales from the front-lines of the abortion battle.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 22, 2014


Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 22
 
Roe V Wade Anniversary Special
 
4:00 – Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade
Based on 20 years of research, including an examination of the papers of eight of the nine Justices who voted in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Abuse of Discretion is a critical review of the behind-the-scenes deliberations that went into the Supreme Court's abortion decisions and how the mistakes made by the Justices in 1971-1973 have led to the turmoil we see today in legislation, politics, and public health. Why do the abortion decisions remain so controversial after 40 years, despite more than 50,000,000 abortions, numerous presidential elections, and a complete turnover in the Justices? Why did such a sweeping decision—with such important consequences for public health, producing such prolonged political turmoil—come from the Supreme Court in 1973? Clarke Forsythe, author of the aforementioned book, joins us.
 
5:00 – Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars
Every day, thousands of children fragile, innocent, alone are abandoned. They are brutally snuffed from the world and literally left in the trash . . . and it's all legal. Monica Miller is here to tell her story of one woman's staunch and courageous defense of those children abandoned by abortion. She has pulled the bodies of thousands of unborn babies out of dumpsters and given them a proper burial. She has photographed their bodies as well. She will tell us many fascinating tales from the front-lines of the abortion battle.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 22, 2014


Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 22
 
Roe V Wade Anniversary Special
 
4:00 – Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade
Based on 20 years of research, including an examination of the papers of eight of the nine Justices who voted in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Abuse of Discretion is a critical review of the behind-the-scenes deliberations that went into the Supreme Court's abortion decisions and how the mistakes made by the Justices in 1971-1973 have led to the turmoil we see today in legislation, politics, and public health. Why do the abortion decisions remain so controversial after 40 years, despite more than 50,000,000 abortions, numerous presidential elections, and a complete turnover in the Justices? Why did such a sweeping decision—with such important consequences for public health, producing such prolonged political turmoil—come from the Supreme Court in 1973? Clarke Forsythe, author of the aforementioned book, joins us.
 
5:00 – Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars
Every day, thousands of children fragile, innocent, alone are abandoned. They are brutally snuffed from the world and literally left in the trash . . . and it's all legal. Monica Miller is here to tell her story of one woman's staunch and courageous defense of those children abandoned by abortion. She has pulled the bodies of thousands of unborn babies out of dumpsters and given them a proper burial. She has photographed their bodies as well. She will tell us many fascinating tales from the front-lines of the abortion battle.
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