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Ecumenical vespers

· The Pope presides at the celebration for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation ·

The planet needs care, attention, good will on everyone’s part, because each person can, in little ways, save it from destruction, pollution and intensive exploitation. It takes simple daily gestures, of the type that everyone can carry out. Among those things that each person can do are, of course, prayer, both personal and communal, such as Pope Francis presided at on Thursday afternoon, 1 September, in the Vatican Basilica. 

The occasion was the 2nd World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which this year fell within the context of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

The form of the prayer service was the recitation of Vespers with a strikingly ecumenical character. It could not be otherwise, as it coincides with the analogous Day celebrated by the Orthodox Church since 1989. The Ecumenical Council of Churches dedicates the period spanning 1 September to 4 October to prayer and reflection on the safeguarding of creation. The Anglican Communion also celebrates a similar Day on 1 September. This full ecumenical harmony was also expressed during Vespers celebrated in the Basilica, thanks to the presence of representatives of Christian confessions and Churches. Among them were Msgr Siluan, Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Italy; Archbishop David Moxon, representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome; Simeone Catsinas, parish priest of the Greek Orthodox Church of St Theodore in Rome; Jens-Martin Kruse, priest of the Evangelical Lutheran parish of Rome; Valdo Bertalot, Waldensian pastor and secretary general of the Biblical Society in Italy. They were accompanied by Cardinal Kurt Koch, Bishop Brian Farrell, Msgr Andrea Palmieri, respectively President, Secretary and Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, along with Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who was recently appointed Prefect of the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

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St. Peter’s Square

Jan. 22, 2018

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