"Surely history will judge that Pope John Paul II is one of the most significant figures on the worldï¿½s stage in the closing years of the second millennium and at the dawn of the third," said ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson on the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's pontificate Oct 16. Hanson shared an audience with the pope in March (May, page 23).
"I'm convinced that in his heart this pope is truly committed to the search for the visible unity of the Christian church," Hanson said.
Citing papal teaching encyclicals, On Commitment to Ecumenism (1995) and On the Church and the Eucharist (2003), Hanson said the pope "sounds a clarion call that unity around the Lord's table is a matter to be longed for and prayed for most urgently."
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