Brother Roger of Taize and the Council of Youth based on the Taize Community have called upon all Christians to pray for the Pope every day of 1979, and especially for his ecumenical ministry.
The plea was part of a letter read out at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, last Thursday which was written on Christmas Eve after members of the Council of Youth had returned from Nairobi, where they had been living in a slum shanty-town for several weeks.
The letter says that many organisations have worked for ecumenical understanding, and co-operation on issues of justice.
But today, it says: "Many young people are asking themselves if these same organisations have not become an obstacle to visible communion among Christians by developing yet another form of parallelism."
The Council of Youth, which grew from the inter denominational community at Taize, says that the growing practice of intercommunion between Catholics and nonCatholics shows that many nonCatholics are becoming "attentive to that particular gift of the Catholic Church — faith in the adorable presence of Christ in the Eucharist." Will Catholics recognise the particular gift of the best Protestant Churches which is finding in Holy Scripture an immediate source of inspiration for living a Christian life? the letter asks.
The council calls upon nonCatholics to recognise the Pope as Christian leader and understand the Pope's ministry from within instead of fleeing from him. This will enable him to "express prophetic intuitions for the People of God and for the entire human family."
The letter ends with a prohecy: either the People of God will continue to fragment and be opposed or indifferent to each other or else Christians will enter a process of reconciliation and rediscover a visible communion around a universal pastor.
Tablet appeal THE TABLET has asked its readers for £100,000 so that it can continue publishing. Having become a trust in 1976, the 140 year old journal has raised £50,000 from its trustrees which include Graham Greene, the Duke of Norfolk, Sir John Hunt and Sir Charles Curran. It hopes to raise the money within a year so that it can continue free from commercial interests and pursue its aim of being an independent weekly within a basic allegiance to the Catholic Church.