Pope: True Christian dialogue includes listening as well as speaking
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- True Christian dialogue includes "listening as well as speaking," Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to an ecumenical meeting of European church leaders.
When people listen to each other, these encounters lead to good relationships that are then based on understanding, which involves a "deepening and transformation of our lives as Christians," he told participants of the third European Ecumenical Assembly meeting in Sibiu, Romania. The written message was released Sept. 5 by the Vatican.
The Sept. 4-9 ecumenical assembly brought together representatives of the Conference of European Churches and the Council of European Bishops' Conferences. The delegates, who represented European Catholic bishops' conferences and representatives of the Orthodox, Protestant and Anglican confessions, considered issues of unity, spirituality, paying common witness, interreligious dialogue, migration, respect for creation, and justice and peace.
In his message, Pope Benedict said, "We Christians must be aware of the task entrusted to us, that of bringing to Europe and the world" the voice of Christ, who said in the Gospel of St. John, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Evangelization is about promoting Christ, not oneself, he said.
"It is our duty to let the light of Christ shine before the men and women of today; not our own light, but the light of Christ," he said.
He urged Christians to continue to work for full and visible Christian unity "and peace for people in Europe," as well as band together to foster "true development" in European communities.
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Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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