Pope speaks of 'responsibility' to solve ecumenical impasse of papal authority
Speaking during his visit to Armenia, Pope John Paul II has said that Catholic and Eastern Christian Churches should work to patch up their differences on the major stumbling block of the power of the Bishop of Rome.
The Pope, who in the past has said that division is the greatest scandal in the history of Christianity, believes there is increased urgency to resolve the impasse in order to proclaim the Gospel to those who need it.
"Having experienced the spiritual emptiness of Communism and materialism, they are seeking the path to life and happiness," he stressed. "They are thirsting for the Gospel. We have a great responsibility toward them, and they expect from us a convincing witness of unity of faith and mutual love."
"Never again, Christians against Christians; never again, Church against Church!" he insisted. "Rather, let us walk together, hand in hand, so that the world of the 21st century and the new millennium may believe!"
The Pope told his audience that he has requested - in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint - that the bishops and theologians of the Catholic Church to work out forms in which the papal ministry may "accomplish a service of love recognised by all concerned".