Unitatis Redintegratio (Decree on Ecumenism), November 21, 1964
The decree, Unitatis Redintegratio, expresses and elaborates the great desire of Christ’s will: that all Christians may be one. It acknowledges the fact that not only do many Christian communities profess to follow Christ in different, and even divided ways, but that despite these differences all Christians long for one visible Church of God. Unitatis Redintegratio sets out the ways and means by which Catholics can respond to this divine grace and call for unity.
“Catholics, in their ecumenical work, must assuredly be concerned for their separated brethren, praying for them, keeping them informed about the Church, making the first approaches toward them. But their primary duty is to make a careful and honest appraisal of whatever needs to be done or renewed in the Catholic household itself, in order that its life may bear witness more clearly and faithfully to the teachings and institutions which have come to it from Christ through the Apostles.” (UR 4)
“Whatever is truly Christian is never contrary to what genuinely belongs to the faith; indeed, it can always bring a deeper realization of the mystery of Christ and the Church.” (UR 4)
“All the faithful should remember that the more effort they make to live holier lives according to the Gospel, the better will they further Christian unity and put it into practice. For the closer their union with the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, the more deeply and easily will they be able to grow in mutual brotherly love.” (UR 7)
“Whenever the Sacrament of Baptism is duly administered as Our Lord instituted it, and is received with the right dispositions, a person is truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ, and reborn to a sharing of the divine life…” (UR 22)