It often surprises Catholics to learn that the Church calls all of its members to embrace the work of ecumenism. Each of us is called to do whatever we can to heal our divisions and bring about unity among believers from every Christian faith tradition. It’s easy to think that this work belongs only to bishops, theological experts, and the pope. Of course they play a vital role, especially when it comes to official dialogue and discussions about doctrine. But the Church insists that there is more to ecumenism than dialogue and theological exploration. There is also love, reconciliation, respect, and repentance—and these tasks belong to every Catholic. God wants all of us to be one, and that means that we all have a vital role to play. Here is how the Fathers of Vatican II explained it:
The attainment of union is the concern of the whole Church, faithful and shepherds alike. This concern extends to everyone, according...
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