Taizé Founder a "Pioneer of Unity," Says Pope

Vatican Releases Pope's Spontaneous Comments

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 26, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI proposed the late Brother Roger Schutz, founder of the ecumenical Community of Taizé, as a "pioneer of unity."



The Pope made his comment during an address he gave to the representatives of various Christian denominations during his recent visit to Germany for World Youth Day.

The Holy Father spontaneously added comments regarding Brother Roger to his official address to the ecumenical meeting, which were transcribed and released this week by the Holy See.

Benedict XVI revealed details of his relationship with the 90-year-old religious, a "great pioneer of unity," who was stabbed to death Aug. 16 by an apparently unstable 36-year-old Romanian woman.

"I had known him personally for a long time and had a cordial friendship with him," said the Pope.

"He often came to visit me and, as I already said in Rome on the day of his murder, I received a letter from him that moved my heart, because in it he underlined his adherence to my way and told me that he wanted to come and see me," said the Holy Father.

"He is now visiting us and speaking to us from on high," said Benedict XVI. "I think that we must listen to him, we must listen from within to his spiritually lived ecumenism and allow ourselves to be led by his witness toward an interiorized and spiritualized ecumenism."