In order to promote Christian unity, Catholics should take the first steps in seeking to overcome the unfortunate divisions existing between Christians. They should strive to make Christians more faithful to Christ and to be effective witnesses to the truths received from the Apostles.
The Church is one because there is only one Jesus, Who communicates the same life of God through the Holy Spirit to all who believe in Him. At this level, all Christians are truly united, and the Church is one. If our love for Christ is sincere, we shall do all in our power, by prayer and work, so that Christ’s will and prayer for unity may be realized: “That they may all be one” (John 17:21).
At the same time, the Church is not one, because historical differences and bitterness have driven the followers of Jesus apart. Consequently, much of their Christian lives is not shared with one another. Besides, men’s understanding of Jesus and the meaning of His life and teaching differ, and sometimes these differences prevent Christians from coming together.
As a result, divisions and separate groups have appeared. These groups are principally the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Church, and the various Protestant communities. As Catholics, we should show our deep concern for this sad condition by praying and working for Christian unity.
Ecumenism is the acceptance of the basic unity of the Church and the effort to make this unity present and visible in the whole life of the Church. We Catholics partake of Christ’s unfathomable riches, and we should lovingly share them with others.