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This is Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of January

Pope Francis prays during his general audience address in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican on Dec. 27, 2023. / Credit: Vatican Media

CNA Staff, Jan 2, 2024 / 13:50 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of January is for the gift of diversity in the Church.

“There is no need to fear the diversity of charisms in the Church. Rather, living this diversity should make us rejoice,” Pope Francis said in a video released Jan. 2. 

The Holy Father pointed out that “diversity and unity were already very much present in the first Christian communities.”

“But there’s more,” he added. “To move forward on the journey of faith, we also need ecumenical dialogue with our brothers and sisters of other confessions and Christian communities.”

“This is not something confusing or disturbing but is a gift God gives to the Christian community so it might grow as one body, the body of Christ.”

Pope Francis used the Eastern Churches as an example: “They have their own traditions, their own characteristic liturgical rites … yet they maintain the unity of the faith. They strengthen it, not divide it.”

“If we are guided by the Holy Spirit, abundance, variety, diversity, never cause conflict,” he said.

“The Holy Spirit reminds us first and foremost that we are children loved by God — everyone equal in God’s love, and everyone different,” the pope added.

He concluded with a prayer: “Let us pray that the Spirit helps us recognize the gift of different charisms within the Christian communities and to discover the richness of different ritual traditions within the Catholic Church.”

Pope Francis’ prayer video is promoted by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, which raises awareness of monthly papal prayer intentions.

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