Benedict XVI: Charity Stimulates Dialogue

To Aid Agency for Eastern Catholic Churches

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The works of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue are nourished by charity, says Benedict XVI.



The Pope said this Thursday when he met with members of the Vatican agency that coordinates funding to Eastern Catholic Churches. The agency, known by its Italian acronym ROACO, is under the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

The Holy Father spoke to the members, in Rome for the agency's annual assembly, of the "irreversible nature of ecumenical choice" and "the absolute necessity of interreligious dialogue."

"This occasion urges me to underline how much they are nourished by the movement of ecclesial charity," the Pontiff said to the participants, many of whom are bishops of Eastern Churches.

Benedict XVI said, "These choices are nothing less than expressions of that same charity, the only one that is able to stimulate progress in dialogue and to open new horizons."

The Pope offered his prayer to the Lord "to speed the day of full unity among Christians, and the long-awaited moment of serene interreligious coexistence animated by mutual respect."

The Pontiff continued: "That he would make us more attentive so that, fleeing from every kind of indifferentism, we will not lose sight of the mission of the local Catholic community in our exercise of charity.

"With his guidance and with respect for the diverse ritual expressions, our ecumenical and interreligious awareness will find concrete expressions."

The Holy Father also said that "the prospects of ecclesial charity should be developed according to the 'Eucharistic measure.'"

Teamwork

Underlining the importance of growth in the "movement of charity," Benedict XVI told the members of ROACO: "I encourage you to continue, so that the priceless support you give to the witness of ecclesial charity may be fully developed in the community."

The collaboration of the ROACO members, the Pope said, "confirms the will to avoid an individualistic approach in planning interventions and supplying aid" that comes from the generosity of the faithful.

It is in fact "harmful, the illusion that it is more effective to work alone," the Holy Father said.

The Holy Father added that the effort of "teamwork and collaboration is always a guarantee of a more ordered and evenhanded service. The clear witness that it is not individuals, but rather it is the Church to give that which the Lord has destined to all in his providential goodness."