Pope Francis has pretty big ecumenical ambitions. Though speaking to the Orthodox on his recent visit to Turkey, he manages to mention Protestants!
I think he is onto something in the citations I include below (from the whole speech which is here.) Christian unity flows from our unity in Christ. A divided world desperately needs a united church witnessing to the genuine peace which comes from God. Young people see beyond divisions (fostered by us older folk?).
I love the scriptural simplicity of Pope Francis' message which works the theme of unity from the gospel narrative of encounter with Jesus. No time is wasted on theological nuances in the Nicene Creed which cause separation. Rather he draws his hearers directly to Jesus through the human encounter of Andrew and Peter with the Divine Master.
Christian unity comes from personal encounter with Jesus, and with each other:
"Meeting each other, seeing each other face to face, exchanging the embrace of peace, and praying for each other, are all essential aspects of our journey towards the restoration of full communion. All of this precedes and always accompanies that other essential aspect of this journey, namely, theological dialogue. An authentic dialogue is, in every case, an encounter between persons with a name, a face, a past, and not merely a meeting of ideas.
This is especially true for us Christians, because for us the truth is the person of Jesus Christ. The example of Saint Andrew, who with another disciple accepted the invitation of the Divine Master, “Come and see”, and “stayed with him that day” (Jn 1:39), shows us plainly that the Christian life is a personal experience, a transforming encounter with the One who loves us and who wants to save us. In addition, the Christian message is spread thanks to men and women who are in love with Christ, and cannot help but pass on the joy of being loved and saved. Here again, the example of the apostle Andrew is instructive. After following Jesus to his home and spending time with him, Andrew “first found his brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (Jn1:40-42). It is clear, therefore, that not even dialogue among Christians can prescind from this logic of personal encounter."The urgency of Christian unity in a war torn world:
"Taking away the peace of a people, committing every act of violence – or consenting to such acts – especially when directed against the weakest and defenceless, is a profoundly grave sin against God, since it means showing contempt for the image of God which is in man. The cry of the victims of conflict urges us to move with haste along the path of reconciliation and communion between Catholics and Orthodox. Indeed, how can we credibly proclaim the Gospel of peace which comes from Christ, if there continues to be rivalry and disagreement between us"Hope for unity lies with the young people who have a vision:
"It is precisely the young who today implore us to make progress towards full communion. I think for example of the many Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant youth who come together at meetings organized by the Taizé community. They do this not because they ignore the differences which still separate us, but because they are able to see beyond them; they are able to see beyond them, to embrace what is essential and what already unites us which is much holiness."
Could we yet save ourselves in ACANZP from splintering over differences in theology of sexuality by meeting together in the presence of Jesus and sharing stories of how the "Christian message is spread thanks to men and women who are in love with Christ, and cannot help but pass on the joy of being loved and saved"?