Juan Uzma-Gomez from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity delivers a message from Pope Francis to the Global Christian Forum’s gathering in Bogota, Colombia. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC
Pope Francis has extended his greetings to participants of the Third Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum in Bogota, Colombia saying it provides solidarity that fosters respect and esteem, mutual forgiveness and that defends human dignity.
Father Juan Usma-Gomez, head of the Western Section of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from Colombia, read the message on 26 April, the third day of the 24-28 April gathering.
Reflecting on this year’s theme of “Let Mutual Love Continue”, Pope Francis emphasised that “humanity is in great need of such solidarity, which fosters respect and esteem, mutual forgiveness and the effective defence of human dignity in every situation.”
Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to God for the occasion to gather together “as the Forum is a grace-filled opportunity for representatives of many Christian communities to meet as brothers and sisters and journey towards the fulfilment of Jesus’ prayer that all may be one so that the world may believe (cf Jn 17:21).”
He referred to the GCF’s unique role as the most comprehensive gathering of global Christianity today and as a safe space for conversation across boundaries of Christian traditions.
Pope Francis said: “I pray that the Forum may be a time to share personal and ecclesial faith experiences and provide an open and respectful space to address together new contemporary challenges, by promoting Christian solidarity and cooperation in a fresh and innovative way.”
“I assure you and all present of my spiritual closeness during these days, and I invoke upon you Almighty God’s blessings of wisdom, courage and strength,” he concluded.
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity is one of the four “pillars” of the GCF, has been an important contributor in the journey towards better understanding among different Christian traditions and the exploration of how common challenges can be addressed together.
The other pillars of the GCF are: the Pentecostal World Fellowship, the World Evangelical Alliance and the World Council of Churches.