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Pope affirms that ecumenism is a priority of his pontificate

John Paul II has reaffirmed that ecumenical dialogue is an "irreversible" commitment of the Catholic Church and a priority of his pontificate.

In a message sent to the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pope offered two guidelines for the future of ecumenism: "the dialogue of truth, and meeting in fraternity".

In the text of the message, published on Monday by the Vatican Press Office, the Holy Father asked that "words like crisis, delays, slowness, immobility and compromises be eliminated" in ecumenical dialogue.

Instead, he urged that key words such as "confidence, patience, constancy, dialogue and hope" be adopted.

"And to these I would like to add the impetus to act," he adds. "I am referring here to the fervor inspired by a good cause, before which one is stimulated to seek the means to support it, encouraging creativity and at times the courage to change."