With a call to be heralds and agents of God’s healing, peace and justice in a time of pandemic, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), appealed to the participants at the international meeting of prayer for peace organized by Sant‘ Egidio in Rome. “Peace and justice will embrace and no pandemic will stop them,” said Bedford-Strohm, speaking to many high-ranking religious leaders including Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his meditation in the Basilica dell'Aracoeli. At the same time, he uttered an urgent plea to overcome divisions in the church: “Passion for church unity is not a sentimental wish of special interest groups in the church. This passion for unity is part of the DNA of every church. And I add very personally: To experience this unity at the Lord’s Table in my own lifetime is my own personal dream,” Bedford-Strohm.
To be the “salt of the earth and the light of the world” during a time of pandemic, we Christians need a trinity of “praying, doing justice and becoming one”, said Bedford-Strohm. The Community of Sant’ Egidio was the best example of this, he added - “a community of committed people who radiate not renunciation and self-denial but joy and fullness of life.” The community senses deep inside that it is much better to live our lives with rather than against one another. “Because they know in their souls that in this sister-and-brotherhood Christ himself is present.”
NB: Today, 20 October 2020, sees the 34th International Meeting of Prayer for Peace of the Community of Sant’Egidio on the topic “No One Is Saved Alone - Peace and Fraternity”. The meetings, which have taken place at different locations since 1986, aim to foster interreligious dialogue with particular focus on the topic of peace.
Find more information at: https://preghieraperlapace.santegidio.org/ and https://preghieraperlapace.santegidio.org/pageID/31256/langID/de/event/1360/Rom-2020.html
The full text of the meditation by Bishop Bedford-Strohm is accessible at:
Hanover/Rome, 20 October 2020
EKD Press Office