244. Commitment to ecumenism responds to the prayer of the Lord Jesus that “they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). The credibility of the Christian message would be much greater if Christians could overcome their divisions and the Church could realize “the fullness of catholicity proper to her in those of her children who, though joined to her by baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her”.[Unitatis Redintegratio 4]
An approach that has been difficult for many of us: to trust other Christians. Even sister and brother Catholics who don’t think like us, and who don’t support or attack the same bishops as us.
We must never forget that we are pilgrims journeying alongside one another. This means that we must have sincere trust in our fellow pilgrims, putting aside all suspicion or mistrust, and turn our gaze to what we are all seeking: the radiant peace of God’s face. Trusting others is an art and peace is an art. Jesus told us: “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Mt 5:9). In taking up this task, also among ourselves, we fulfill the ancient prophecy: “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares” (Is 2:4).
The witness of Scripture is undeniable. Reaching out in dialogue and trust is a path to holiness, to the blessing and positive regard of God. I don’t think Pope Francis is indulging in metaphorical talk when he speaks of peacemaking as an art. It will certainly involve languages and means of expression that go beyond the mere communication of reason and intent. Words are simply insufficient.
A personal aside from the Holy Father and observation from the previous synod:
245. In this perspective, ecumenism can be seen as a contribution to the unity of the human family. At the Synod, the presence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, His Holiness Bartholomaios I, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Rowan Williams, was a true gift from God and a precious Christian witness.[Cf. Propositio 52]
Evangelii Gaudium is online to be read any time.