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Pope Francis delivers his Urbi et Orbi message on Easter Sunday (Vatican Media)

The Vatican will publish a study document on papal primacy and ecumenism on Thursday that will contain proposals “for a renewed exercise of the bishop of Rome’s ministry of unity” recognised by all Christians. Source: CNA.

The document, titled The Bishop of Rome: Primacy and Synodality in Ecumenical Dialogue and Responses to the Encyclical Ut Unum Sint, will be released with the approval of Pope Francis. 

The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity put together the study document to summarise the ecumenical dialogue that has occurred on the question of papal primacy and synodality in the past 30 years.

In particular, the document includes responses by different Christian communities to St John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical on Christian unity, Ut Unum Sint (“That They All May Be One”).

According to the Holy See Press Office, the document “concludes with a proposal from the dicastery identifying the most significant suggestions put forward for a renewed exercise of the bishop of Rome’s ministry of unity ‘recognised by one and all’.”

Ut Unum Sint says that the bishop of Rome as the successor of the Apostle Peter has a “specific duty” to work for the cause of Christian unity. 

The encyclical acknowledges that “the Catholic Church’s conviction that in the ministry of the bishop of Rome she has preserved, in fidelity to the apostolic tradition and the faith of the Fathers, the visible sign and guarantor of unity, constitutes a difficulty for most other Christians, whose memory is marked by certain painful recollections”. 

It notes that the “primacy of the bishop of Rome has now become a subject of study” in the Church’s dialogue with other Christian communities.

The Vatican will hold a press conference on Thursday featuring Anglican and Armenian representatives to discuss the new papal primacy document.


Vatican to publish new document on papal primacy (By Courtney Mares, CNA)