Statement from the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge,
Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington,
on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021

Between January 18 and 25, 2021, the Catholic Church joins other Christian churches around the world for the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The theme for this year's observance is "Abide in my shall bear much fruit," from the Gospel of John, chapter 15.

For many complex reasons, Christianity has been divided for centuries. We know that this not what Christ desired for his Church and that it presents an obstacle to the Church's mission of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ as brothers and sisters. We pray earnestly that divisions among Christians may be overcome and healed. Yet for all that divides us, Christians worldwide are united in our faith in God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, our embrace of Scripture, and our participation in Baptism.

During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I invite all Catholics to seek opportunities to engage in respectful dialogue and cooperation with Christians of other denominations, to seek God's mercy through the Sacrament of Penance, and to pray for unity and peace among Christian peoples. Filled with the Holy Spirit, may we work to foster unity among the Christian churches of the world.