Unity is both gift and responsibility, says Church’s ecumenism chief

Unity is both gift and responsibility, says Church’s ecumenism chief

Archbishop Angelito Lampon, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Ecumenical Affairs. PHOTO FROM DAVAO CATHOLIC HERALD

By CBCP News

January 19, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Catholic bishops’ top ecumenical official has called for more work for unity, saying that ecumenism is not just a gift but a responsibility.

Archbishop Angelito Lampon, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Ecumenical Affairs, said a concerted effort is needed to achieve unity not only among Christians but all mankind.

“While unity is a gift from God, it is also a task and responsibility that we have to work hard in order to achieve it,” Lampon said in a video message for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The Cotabato archbishop said this can be done by “our coming together, respecting each other’s beliefs and rejoicing in our diversity”.

“We are already making a huge statement to the world that unity is possible not only among Christians but also for humanity,” he added.

This week of prayer kicked off on Monday via online due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.

The theme for the celebration was taken from the Gospel of St. John: “Abide in my love… you shall bear much fruit”.

Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, also said that the initiative, that has been going on for 27 years, may bear fruits and collaboration.

Albeit marred by the pandemic, he lauded the efforts to observe the annual celebration “to pray together, to beseech, to entreat the Lord for the gift of unity”.

He explained this year’s theme that highlights the need for people to come together because “with Him all things are possible, without Him nothing is possible”.

“Ecumenism is a gift from God, a gift that becomes possible through prayer,” Brown said.

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