Pope Calls for Christians to End 500-Year Conflict

Philip Pullella – June 21, 2018

Pope Francis called on Christians on Thursday to “break down barriers of suspicion and fear” that have divided them since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and to work together to help the most needy.

Francis made a day trip to Geneva to mark the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), a fellowship of 350 mostly national churches representing Protestant communities and some Orthodox Christians.

Its members represent about 500 million faithful, compared with 1.3 billion for the Roman Catholic Church, which is not a full member of the WCC.

“After centuries of conflict … charity allows us to come together as brothers and sisters,” he said at the WCC headquarters in Geneva, the city where reformer John Calvin lived in the 16th century.

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