Week of prayer for Christian unity in Rome

Numerous events involving Rome's English speaking churches

The annual international week of prayer for Christian unity takes place from 18-25 January.

This year the biblical text that has been chosen to provide the theme for reflection is "Has Christ been divided?" (1 Cor 1:13).

In Rome there will be a range of events to mark the occasion involving many of the city's English-speaking and Italian religious communities, including an audience on 22 January with Pope Francis who celebrates Vespers in the Basilica of S. Paolo fuori le Mura at 17.30 on 25 January.

The week of prayer for Christian unity has been celebrated every year since 1894, the year in which Pope Leo XIII published an encyclical calling for Christian unity, although earlier forms of the event go back to the beginning of the 19th century. Since 1968 the theme and resources for the week have been prepared by a joint committee of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

This year, for the second time in its 106-year history, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has asked Canadians to provide the biblical reflections, prayer services and educational materials to be used worldwide.