Pope says try virtue if ecumenical dialogue is not working
Doctrinal stalemates on various fronts have caused Pope John Paul to think laterally and recommend faith, hope and charity as the 'stars' that can guide Christians towards unity.
He proposed virtue at Wednesday's general audience in the Vatican, in the latest of his series of reflections on ecumenism.
Faith, hope and charity, the Holy Father explained, not only 'place us in communion with God and lead us to him', but also drive Christ's disciples toward the unity.
Addressing 40,000 pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square, he explained that this "unity has its source in the word of God, which all the Churches and ecclesial communities consider as the lamp for their steps in the course of history."
"All together, the Churches and the ecclesial communities refer to the ancient symbols of the faith and the definitions of the first ecumenical councils," he continued before going on to detail each of the virtues faith, hope and charity.
But he insisted that "certain doctrinal differences remain to be overcome in order that the road to unity of faith reaches the fullness indicated by the promise of Christ".