VATICAN CITY, JAN. 16, 2008 ( Benedict XVI invited the Church to pray without ceasing for Christian unity, so that all believers may profess Christ as their savior.

The Pope made his appeal at the end of today's general audience in preparation for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins Friday.

The Pontiff recalled that the theme for the week is the invitation of St. Paul to the Thessalonians: "Pray Without Ceasing." The invitation is one the Holy Father said he gladly makes "my own and address to the whole Church."

He continued: "It is indeed necessary to pray without ceasing, insistently asking God for the great gift of unity among all the Lord's disciples.

"May the endless strength of the Holy Spirit move us to a sincere commitment to seek unity, so that all together we may profess that Jesus is the one Savior of the world."

Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches, are available on the Vatican's Web site.


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