The attraction of fraternity


"Your annual gathering, which brings you together not only from different countries but from different Churches and Ecclesial Communities, is an expression and a fruit of your love for the Word of God and your willingness to base your lives on the Gospel: your openness, inspired and accompanied by the grace of the Holy Spirit, has given birth to many initiatives, allowing firm friendships to blossom as well as moments of deep fraternity and sharing. I encourage you to cherish the richness of your experience like a treasure and to go ahead with courage, always attentive to the signs of the times and asking the Lord for the gift of mutual listening and readiness to do his will.

In particular, I would like to affirm what was said by each of your three representatives their presentation on behalf of everyone, I thank them warmly. They remind us with acute awareness of the value that a clear witness of unity among Christians, of mutual esteem and respect, and above all fraternity, brings to our troubled world. Such fraternity is a bright and attractive sign of our faith in the Risen Lord.

In fact, if we as Christians, desire to respond in a meaningful way to the many problems and dramas of our time, then we need to act as brothers, so that everyone can easily recognise that we belong to Christ, the one Lord. It is how we can respond - and perhaps we can lead the way - to the globalization of indifference with the globalization of solidarity and fraternity, which must shine out all the more brightly among all who are baptised."

Address by Pope Francis to the participants at the Ecumenical Meeting of the Bishops Friends of the Focolare Movement,
7 November 2014