The following is the text of the video message sent by the Holy Father Francis to the Saint John the Divine Episcopal Cathedral of New York, on the occasion of the launch of the formative community, “The Community at the Crossing”:
Video Message of the Holy Father
Thank you for welcoming me in this beautiful Episcopal Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. It is a great joy and consolation for me to be with you in this special moment in which Episcopalians, and Catholics, Christians from different denominations, people of good will, are gathered for the launch of this community of formation called the Community at the Crossing.
Dear young people who will spend a year here of community life, Christian formation and discernment, prayer, service to the youth and the poor: you will be a witness to God’s love and tenderness.
“See how they love each other” would say those who saw the first Christian Community, see how they live together with joy and put in common their belongings, see how they pray together, see how they are close to the poor. I hope and pray that this is what will happen here in Saint John the Divine. Choosing the humble path of common life is worth more than a thousand words.
The name At the Crossing evokes the “crossing” inside this Cathedral, the point of intersection between the nave and the choir that allows to “cross” from one to the other and back. It has a deep meaning.
At the Crossing means a place of crossing and meeting between young people of all Christian denominations. My hope is this community will offer an opportunity to revive the desire for unity of Christians and of society in New York and even in the United States. The future of faith in our world passes through Christian Unity. Yes, we do not agree on everything. Yes, we have convictions that sometimes seem incompatible, or are incompatible. But that is precisely why we choose to love each other. Love is stronger than all disagreements and divisions. It brings peace, and peace does not seem possible.
That is why I want you to continue to work together on this to achieve unity. And let us not forget that At the Crossing evokes the Cross of Christ. Jesus Christ is a bond that is stronger and deeper than our cultures, our political options and even than our doctrines. The Lord! Jesus the Lord! Look at Him who gave his life for us!
My deepest thanks, dear young people, for your courage and your commitment. Thank you to the team of the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and to the Chemin Neuf Community for having set up the project. My thanks go to Cardinal Dolan and to Bishop Dietsche for welcoming and supporting this initiative. My heart rejoices when I think that the Catholic Archdiocese and the Episcopal Diocese of New York are working hand in hand. Thank you for the support and encouragement of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity. And a special thanks to my brother and friend Justin Welby for having encouraged this project since it started – thank you for your words. Thanks to all of you.
And: Go on! Go on!