The divisions that exist among Christians are a source of pain and scandal, and damage the credibility and work of spreading the Gospel, Pope Francis said. "Christ's name creates communion and unity, not division. He came to create communion among us, not to divide us!" the pope said during his general audience address Jan. 22 in St. Peter's Square.
"Christ has certainly not been divided. But we have to recognize with sincerity and with sorrow that our communities continue to live divisions that are a scandal," the pope said. "Divisions among Christians are a scandal. There is no other word for it. A scandal!" he said to applause.
Christians have two important elements in common: baptism and the cross, he said.
However, divisions among Christian communities "weaken the credibility and the effectiveness of our efforts to evangelize, and they risk empting the cross of its power" and meaning, he said.