June 15, 2015
Vatican City, 15 June 2015 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis received in audience the representatives of the Czech Hussite Church and the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, in Rome to celebrate a liturgy of reconciliation on the occasion of the 600 th anniversary of the reformer Jan Hus, distinguished preacher and rector of the University of Prague, whose execution was lamented by St. John Paul II in 1999, who included him among the reformers of the Church.
“In the light of this consideration”, said Francis, “it is necessary to continue our studies of the figure and work of Jan Hus, which has long been a matter of controversy between Christians, but which has today become a reason for dialogue. This research, conducted without any form of ideological conditioning, will be an important service to historical truth, to all Christians and to society as a whole, even beyond your national borders”.
“Today's meeting gives us the opportunity to renew and deepen the relations between our communities”, he added. “Many disputes of the past ask to be revisited in the light of the new context in which we live, and agreements and convergences will be reached if we face the traditional conflictual questions with a new outlook. Above all, we cannot forget that the shared profession of faith in God the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, in which we have been baptised, already unites us in bonds of authentic fraternity”.
“Vatican Council II affirmed that 'every renewal of the Church is essentially grounded in an increase of fidelity to her own calling. Undoubtedly this is the basis of the movement toward unity. … Church renewal has therefore notable ecumenical importance'. Nowadays, in particular, the need for a new evangelisation of many men and women who seem indifferent to the joyful news of the Gospel makes it urgent to renovate every ecclesial structure so as to promote a positive response from all those to whom Jesus offers His friendship. And visible communion between Christians will certainly make this announcement more credible”.
“Responding to the call of Christ to continual conversion, of which we are all in need, we can progress together on the path of reconciliation and peace. Along this road let us learn, by God's grace, to recognise each other as friends and to consider the motivations of others in the best light possible. In this sense I hope that bonds of friendship may develop also at the level of local and parish communities. With these sentiments, I join spiritually in the penitential liturgy you will celebrate here in Rome”, concluded the Holy Father. “May God, rich in mercy, grant us the grace to recognise ourselves all as sinners and to know how to forgive each other”.