(ALC)In an unprecedented act in the country's religious history, Ecuadorian Cardinal Bernardino Echeverria offered a sermon in the Anglican Church's El Salvador Cathedral.
The high-ranking Catholic leader spoke at the inaugural service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held in the Anglican Cathedral. In his vibrant sermon, Cardinal Echeverria praised the ecumenical initiative and emphasized the importance of all Christians working for unity.
"It is the first time that I have participated in a worship service in a non Catholic Church and I have realized how much we have in common," said the prelate. He recalled the emphasis that the II Vatican Council placed on ecumenism and underlined the fact that Pope John Paul II exhorted Christians to persevere in prayer and to seek the aid of the Holy Spirit in the search for Church unity.
The presence of Cardinal Echeverria in the Anglican Cathedral marked a key point in the history of Christian Churches in Ecuador and constitutes a symbol of the new reality of dialogue involving the Catholic Church and several Ecuadorian Evangelical Churches.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity included worship services in seven different Churches, a panel discussion about ecumenism in the Cultural Center of the Catholic University. It ended on Saturday 24 January with a worship service in the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito.