AN IMPORTANT STEP ON THE ROAD OF ECUMENISM
FR. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ, The honourable Editor-in-Chief of ‘Niedziela’
Pope Francis’ visit in Turkey was significant in the sphere of both international and interreligious life, especially in the sphere of ecumenism, which is expecting somehow a new impetus and is hope for many Christians. Ecumenism is a great theological topic of the Church, especially of the Second Vatican Council. It is elaborated by many Christian religions acting within the World Council of Churches. Ecumenical ideas appeared in the pontificate of St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and, now, many ecumenical threads are seen in the pontificate of pope Francis. The recent visit of the Pope in Turkey is its example. He showed alive faith of the Church in one God not only to the Muslims, but also through the meeting with the patriarch Bartłomiej, he showed the idea of ecumenism to the whole Church. This idea is based on brotherly love which leads to unity. We find its basis in the biblical reality which reminds us that Peter and Andrew were brothers. Pope Francis and the patriarch Bartłomiej also showed that they are brothers in Christ. The common blessing, which was given by the Apostles’ Successors, was significant and very awaited. Both the Catholics and the Orthodox believers felt the great value of ecumenism. Because sometimes it seems that people doubt whether we are progressing in respect of ecumenism or if ecumenism has a right for citizenship in the contemporary Church. During a religious service in the orthodox basilica and the Catholic cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul one could see that it is really happening. There is nothing more beautiful than the attitude of mutual brotherly love of pastors of Christian religions, which is an example for others to follow.
The Holy Father Francis somehow has something of a kind of ecumenism in his nature. This extremely charismatic Pope approaches to every man not only as a pastor, spiritual leader, but also as a brother. The example he gives to the world is very significant. It is similar with his simple and respectful attitude to patriarch, Bartłomiej as the head of the Orthodox Church. So, no wonder, that also Bartłomiej has such a warm-hearted and friendly attitude to the Pope.
Ecumenism must always be connected with love. If there was not an element of love in the ecumenical action, it would only be a cold calculation. There would even be fear of creating a kind of ideology. The Church is far away from it, it wants to gain the best, because Divine solutions.