2023 Week of Prayer for Christian UnityTuesday, January 17 2023
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be celebrated January 18 to 25. Inaugurated in 1908, the event is now celebrated around the world on an annual basis.
The theme for this year is “Do good, seek justice” (Isaiah 1:7). The materials for prayer and reflection have been prepared by the Minnesota Council of Churches (USA), in the aftermath of the 2020 extrajudicial killing of George Floyd and the trial of the police officer responsible. As local Christian communities sought to respond to the anguish of these events, they also recognized their own historical complicity in perpetuating racial injustice. Inasmuch as the Church is summoned to be the sign and instrument of the unity God desires for the whole of His creation (cf. Lumen gentium, 1), the continued divisions between Christians constitute a scandal: we are thus called to repent of our disunity and work together for reconciliation among all peoples.
The Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity – previously named the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity – and the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) have uploaded resources to aid the faithful in participating in this act of solidarity:
- Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity resources: http://www.christianunity.va/content/unitacristiani/en/news/2022/semaine-de-priere-pour-l-unite-des-chretiens-2023.html
- CCC resources: https://www.weekofprayer.ca/2023-wpcu-resources
As the universal Catholic Church is summoned by Pope Francis to a new evangelization, through the 2023-24 Synod on Synodality, both ecumenism and interreligious dialogue are receiving renewed prominence. Hence the vademecum for the Synod, the “Official Handbook for Listening and Discernment in Local Churches,” proclaims: “The dialogue between Christians of different confessions, united by one baptism, has a special place in the synodal journey.”
About the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is the national assembly of the Bishops of Canada. It was founded in 1943 and officially recognized by the Holy See in 1948.