Pope Francis with Metropolitan Polycarp (L) and Archbishop Welby (R) photo courtesy of Catholic News Agency (CNA)
The Centro Pro Unione (CPU) recently concluded a series of memorable events for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Each event was inspired by this year’s theme: “You shall love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself.”
The festivities began on Jan. 18 with a reflection featuring Dr. Prof. Tamara Grdzelidze, professor at Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia, and former Ambassador of Georgia to the Holy See; Dr. Rev. Maurizio Mirilli, chaplain at the Policlinico Tor Vergata and former Responsible for Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Rome; and Dr. Rev. Vanessa Bayha, director of the Centro Melantone, Rome. The professors spoke at length about synodality. Fr. Timothy MacDonald, SA, acting director of the CPU, gave a talk on the history of the Week of Prayer and its co-founder, Servant of God Paul Wattson, SA. The day concluded with a powerful Taize-style prayer attended in person and online.
On Jan. 22, the CPU welcomed a group from Virginia Theological Seminary in New Alexandria, VA, accompanied by their professor, Mitzi Budde.
A session of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) was held on Jan. 24. About 60 bishops representing both Anglican and Catholic churches discussed synodality during their meeting. The bishops enjoyed visiting the CPU and learning about its mission.
Finally, students from the Bossey Theological Institute near Geneva, Switzerland, made their annual visit to Rome, the Vatican and a stop at the CPU. The students were introduced to the Friars’ charism and the CPU mission, then enjoyed several activities followed by a Q&A session.