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Why strive for unity?. Read the opening story about the Mann Gulch Disaster. What was lacking in the team’s training that led to the fatal outcome for the smokejumpers? What does this story teach about the importance of: Leadership Unity Trust Relationships. Why strive for unity?.

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why strive for unity

Why strive for unity?

Read the opening story about the Mann Gulch Disaster.

What was lacking in the team’s training that led to the fatal outcome for the smokejumpers?

What does this story teach about the importance of:





why strive for unity1

Why strive for unity?

The twelve Apostles whom Jesus gathered around him to be his closest circle of disciples had diverse beliefs, customs and temperaments.

Among the Twelve were:

Simon Peter, who was hot-tempered and braggadocios;

John, who was quiet and gentle;

Andrew, whobelieved in Jesus immediately;

Thomas, who still doubted after spending three years with Jesus;

Nathaniel, was a devout Jew;

Levi (Matthew), a tax-collector

What does the diversity within the original group of disciples say to you about Jesus’ mission? About the work of the Church?

why strive for unity2

Why strive for unity?

The Gospels teach that Jesus choose women to be among a larger inner circle of his disciples.

The three Synoptic Gospels record that the women at the foot of the Cross on Calvary were with Jesus from the beginning of his public ministry.

Jesus gathered a diverse community of disciples, including Jews and Gentiles, ‘saints’ and ‘sinners’, men and women.

He called them to work together as ‘one’ to continue his saving mission to the world after he returned to the Father.

jesus appoints a leader

Jesus appoints a leader

Jesus asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’

Peter responded, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’

And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church. . . . I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

—Matthew 16:17–19

Apostolic Succession: The passing on of the office

of bishop from the Apostles to bishops . . . down each

generation, by means of ordination.

The Pope is the successor of St. Peter.

The bishops are the successors of the other apostles.

diversity within oneness

Diversity within oneness

In the seaport city of Corinth, a city connecting the East and West, Paul addressed a diverse population. He compared the Church to the human body:

For just as the body is one and has many members,

and all the members of the body, though many, are one body,

so it is with Christ.

—1 Corinthians 12:12–13

Paul inspired unity by encouraging the members of the Church to use their many and diverse gifts for the common good; to build ‘oneness’ in the Church.

diversity within oneness1

Diversity within oneness

Unity and oneness amidst diversity is the essence

of the Church.

The Church’s members are united:


in the profession of one faith;

in the common celebration of the Sacraments;

in apostolic succession.

The diversity is expressed in the multiplicity of peoples, cultures and liturgical traditions within the one Church.

Each cultural family and each liturgical tradition within the Church contributes to the Church’s celebration of her life in Christ.

words the source of both unity and division

Words, the source of both unity and division

The word ‘orthodoxy’ comes from the Greek word orthodoxa, which means ‘right words’.

Using the right words to state the faith of the Church helps both our understanding of the faith and our living the faith.

Heresy: a religious teaching that denies or contradicts truths revealed by God.

Schism: the refusal to submit to the Pope’s authority as head of the Church.

Apostasy: the total repudiation of the Christian faith.

words the source of both unity and division1

Words, the source of both unity and division

Major divisions that have occurred within the Church:

In the first century, Jews and Jewish Christians separated over Jesus as Messiah.

In the fifth century, the followers of Nestorius formed the Assyrian Church, but later returned to union with Rome.

Also in the fifth century, those who followed the Monophysite heresy formed the Oriental Orthodox Churches and separated themselves from the Catholic Church.

In 1054 the Pope in Rome and the Bishop of Constantinople excommunicated each other, leading to the division between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

In the sixteenth century, Luther and other Protestant reformers separated themselves and their followers from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

the protestant reformation

The Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation gained momentum on October 31, 1517,

when Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, nailed ‘Ninety-Five Theses’

to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Luther called for reforms in the teachings and practices of the Catholic


Luther’s teaching of sola scriptura (Scripture alone) taught that the Bible alone is the

measure of faith.

Luther also taught that a person is saved by grace and faith alone and not by any human effort: sola gratia (grace alone) and sola fidei(faith alone).

Luther’s teachings:

denied Church Tradition as a source of faith;

denied the authority of the Magisterium’s teachings on faith.

the protestant reformation1

The Protestant Reformation

As the movement for ‘reform’ grew in Europe, other prominent people followed Luther’s lead, among them:

Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland

John Calvin in France

John Knox in Scotland

In England King Henry VIII challenged the Pope’s authority over his right to divorce and remarry in the Church. After much debate the King declared himself to be the head of the Church in England, thereby separating from the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church responded by introducing her own reforms, especially through the Council of Trent (1545–63). These efforts are known as the Catholic Reformation.

the protestant reformation2

The Protestant Reformation

The Second Vatican Council teaches three points concerning the relationship between the Protestant and Catholic faith communities.

First: ‘the unique Church of Christ’ as founded by Jesus ‘subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him’. (Constitution on the Church, no. 8)

Second: People on both sides, Catholic and Protestant, ‘were to blame’ for the fragmentation that came with the Reformation. (Decree on Ecumenism, no. 3)

Third: All who are ‘brought up in the faith of Christ . . . are accepted as sisters and brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church’. (Decree on Ecumenism, no. 3)

All Christians, Protestant and Catholic, by Baptism are made brothers and sisters in Christ; all are bonded members of the body of Christ in the world.

the franciscan friars of the atonement

The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement

The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement are a Roman Catholic religious society.

Their mission is to work for reconciliation and unity among all peoples.

They work to achieve their mission through social, ecumenical and pastoral ministries in the United States, Canada, England, Italy and Japan.

Words from the Friars’ mission statement:

Pain can be healed, hatred turned to love, division turned to unity.

The Church can and will become one.