The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins this Friday and ends a week later, on the Jan. 25 feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Every year on this occasion, ecumenical activities are carried out in Rome, as well as in dioceses, parishes, movements, schools and seminaries, or wherever Christians are open to dialogue and coming together for prayer. ZENIT talked with its prefect, Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, who is also in charge of the dialogue with Judaism.
ZENIT: And what response has the Catholic Church's push for a New Evangelization received from the other groups?
Cardinal Koch: The New Evangelization must have an ecumenical dimension, because it's obvious that in Jesus' priestly prayer He prayed that all would be one, so that the world would believe. The credibility of the proclamation of the Gospel depends on the unity of the Church. I have many ecumenical counterparts who are happy with this initiative, however, there are still some who aren't. It's very important to encourage all ecumenical counterparts to reflect further on the challenge of the New Evangelization.
ZENIT: And who are the most enthusiastic?
Cardinal Koch: I must say that now there is a great division in ecumenism across the Churches. On one hand we have a liberal ecumenism between Catholics and Protestants. And on the other, there is the vision to reflect further on the foundations of the faith between the Catholic and evangelical communities. The New Evangelization is a great challenge in the latter group.