Pope Francis: “ecumenism of blood” the new face of inter-Christian relations: The Church of England Newspaper, December 20, 2013 January 5, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Roman Catholic Church.
Tags: ecumenism, La Stampa, Pope Francis
The old ways of managing ecumenical relations among Christian churches is passing away, Pope Francis told Italy’s La Stampa newspaper, with bureaucratic initiatives making way for a “ecumenism of blood”.
Speaking to Andrea Tornielli in an interview published on 14 Dec 2013, the pope was asked whether he saw Christian unity as a priority.
Francis responded: “Yes, for me ecumenism is a priority. Today there is an ecumenism of blood. In some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a Bible and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic or Orthodox. Their blood is mixed. To those who kill we are Christians.
The pope said that while Christians are “united in blood”, Christians have “have not yet managed to take necessary steps towards unity between us and perhaps the time has not yet come. Unity is a gift that we need to ask for.”
Francis illustrated his convictions on the changing face of ecumenical relations with an anecdote of a “parish priest in Hamburg who was dealing with the beatification cause of a Catholic priest guillotined by the Nazis for teaching children the catechism. After him, in the list of condemned individuals, was a Lutheran pastor who was killed for the same reason. Their blood was mixed. The parish priest told me he had gone to the bishop and said to him: ‘I will continue to deal with the cause, but both of their causes, not just the Catholic priest’s’.”
“This is what ecumenism of blood is,” the pope said.
“It still exists today; you just need to read the newspapers. Those who kill Christians don’t ask for your identity card to see which Church you were baptised in. We need to take these facts into consideration