Pope Says Africa Needs Christian Unity to Survive

On the cusp of a day trip to Geneva to mark the 70th anniversary of the ecumenically-minded World Council of Churches, Pope Francis on Saturday told a group of African Christian leaders that when it comes to helping a continent that’s been “stripped,” beaten and left half-dead, there can be no division among churches.

“Although significant disagreements may exist between us on theological and ecclesiological issues, there are many areas where the leaders and members of the various communities of the Christian family can set common goals and work together for the benefit of all,” Francis said.

The pontiff compared Africa to the parable in the Gospel of Luke that speaks of a man who traveled from Jerusalem to Jericho, then “fell into the hands of robbers who stripped him, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead.”

Facing such a situation, the pope told representatives of the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) who visited him in the Vatican on Saturday, the question is how the Christian message can be good news for the people of Africa.

The OAIC is a representative body that brings together African Independent and Instituted Churches (AICs), offers them a forum for sharing their concerns and hopes, and enables churches to minister effectively to their members and their communities.

“As a response to the desperation of the poor, the frustration of young people and the cry of pain of the elderly and the suffering, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, passed on and lived out, translates into experiences of hope, peace, joy, harmony, love and unity,” the pope said.

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Source: Crux Now