Catholics, Others Mark Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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The Catholic Church and the Protestant-dominated National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) have expressed hopes for the faithful to be united in prayer during this week's observance of the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity."

Drawing inspiration from this year's theme, "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak" (Mk 7:37), the celebration calls on the faithful to express their growing unity by "breaking the silence" which oppresses and isolates people in their afflictions.

The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity said this year's observance is designed to air two challenges to the faithful: "To pray and strive together for Christian unity, and join together in responding to human suffering."

Celebrated annually, the Week of Prayer is a significant time during which Churches around the world express their longing for, and commitment to, Christian unity.

Although other countries traditionally celebrate the "Week of Prayer" every Jan. 18 to 20, the celebration was moved this year from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3 in deference to the three-day Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that started last Friday. …