Quanta est nobis via? Re-reading Ut Unum Sint 25 years later


Published on 25 May 1995, Ut unum sint was the first ever and remains to the date the only papal encyclical entirely dedicated to ecumenism. Written thirty years after the Second Vatican Council, it was an important step on the way in the reception in the life of the Church of the principles and norms on ecumenism outlined in the conciliar decree Unitatis redintegratio. The article proposes a re-reading of the encyclical twenty-five years after its publication. It begins with an overview of the ecumenical engagement of John Paul II, for whom the search for Christian unity was one of the pastoral priorities of his pontificate. The article continues with a presentation of the ecumenical situation at the time of the publication of Ut unum sint marked by a growing skepticism towards ecumenism within denominations and a certain stagnation within the ecumenical movement. It then presents the vision of the Church and its unity which animates
the encyclical, namely the concept of communion (communio/koinonia). The article then presents some characteristics of the ecumenical situation today and delineates the important challenges such as lack of a common vision of the goal of the ecumenical movement and a shift in the ecumenical paradigm from full visible unity to mutual recognition. It concludes with arguing that explored anew in the ecumenical dialogue against the background of the current condition of world Christianity, Ut unum sint may be a source of inspiration for the search for a fresh vision for the ecumenical movement in the 21st century.


ecumenism; communion (communio/koinonia); John Paul II; Ut unum sint

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Published : 2022-03-02

Andrzej Choromański  achoromanski@christianunity.va
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw  Poland

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