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Ecumenism of martyrs

· With the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch the Pope recalls the suffering of Christians ·

“The ecumenism of the martyrs is a summons to us, here and now, to advance on the path to ever greater unity”. Pope Francis spoke to the the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Patriarch, Abuna Matthias I, in an audience on Monday morning, 29 February, in the private library. 

“From the beginning, yours has been a Church of martyrs”, the Pope said. “Today too, you are witnessing a devastating outbreak of violence against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East and in some parts of Africa. We cannot fail, yet again, to implore those who govern the world’s political and economic life to promote a peaceful coexistence based on reciprocal respect and reconciliation, mutual forgiveness and solidarity”.

“it is my fervent hope”, the Pope said, “that this meeting will mark a new chapter of fraternal friendship between our Churches. We are conscious that history has left us with a burden of painful misunderstandings and mistrust, and for this we seek God’s pardon and healing. Let us pray for one another, invoking the protection of the martyrs and saints upon all the faithful entrusted to our pastoral care. May the Holy Spirit continue to enlighten us and guide our steps towards harmony and peace. May he nourish in us the hope that one day, with God’s help, we will be united around the altar of Christ’s sacrifice in the fullness of eucharistic communion”.

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