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Sala Stampa

Audience with a delegation from the “Hong Kong Christian Council”, 22.05.2024

This morning, the Holy Father Francis received in audience a delegation from the “Hong Kong Christian Council”.

The following is the Pope’s greeting to those present:


Greeting of the Holy Father

Thank you! Thank you very much for this visit, which is a true consolation: to see all brothers united, Christian brothers and sisters united. A great Orthodox bishop, Zizioulas, who died more or less a year ago, used to say that we would have unity between the Christian Churches only on the day of the final judgment. But, “in the meantime”, he said, “we must pray together and work together”. This is very important: working together, because we all believe in Jesus Christ; praying together, praying for unity.

Another great Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, when he received Pope Paul VI, said this beautiful phrase: “Let us do something: let us put all the theologians on an island, so they can argue amongst themselves, and we can go ahead in peace”. Very nice! The important thing: we have the same Baptism and this makes us Christians. We have many enemies outside. We are friends! Enemies outside; here, friends. It is true when I say enemies, because it is a reality the Lord told us of: the Church will always be persecuted. Martyrdom of the faith has always been in the history of our Churches, always, is it not true? Let us go forward.

Something very beautiful happened when Paul VI went to Uganda. He spoke about Catholic and Anglican martyrs. They are martyrs. And I myself, when those Coptic people were martyred, immediately said that they are also “our” martyrs, they are martyrs for all. There are two baptisms: one, that we all have – the Baptism we have received – and the other, that which the Lord calls “the Baptism of blood”: martyrdom. And we all know what martyrdom is for the many Christians who have given their life for faith.

Thank you, thank you very much! And I would like us all to pray the Lord’s prayer, together.

Recitation of the Lord’s prayer

Thank you very much for your visit.