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Francis: 'Bear witness to unity, peace, reconciliation'

Pope Francis on Wednesday said Christians must bear witness to God's plan for the unity, peace and reconciliation of the whole human family. The pope was speaking as he greeted tens of thousands of visitors, gathered in St. Peter's Square for his Wednesday general audience, according to Vatican Radio.

Following are his reported remarks:

"In the Creed, we confess that the church is 'one'. When we consider the rich diversity of languages, cultures and peoples present in the Church throughout the world, we realize that this unity is a God-given gift, grounded in our common Baptism and our sharing in the Church's one faith and sacramental life. Like a great family, we are united to all our brothers and sisters in Christ, wherever they may be. We might ask ourselves how much we appreciate and express in our daily lives, and particularly in our prayer, this reality of our unity and solidarity in the communion of the Church. The world needs our witness to God's plan for the unity, reconciliation and peace of the whole human family. Let us ask the Lord to enable us, and Christians everywhere, to work to overcome our tensions and divisions, to strive, as Saint Paul bids us, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (cf. Eph 4:3), and to cherish the harmony, which the same Spirit creates from the richness of our diversity."

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