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Taizé prior: 'Francis should become shepherd of all Christians'
22 April 2014 15:43 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Christians should come together under one roof with the Pope as their Universal Shepherd, the Prior of the Taizé ecumenical community in France has said.

In an article in the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Maundy Thursday, Br Alois Löser said: “It is a fact that no Christian voice attracts as much attention as that of the Bishop of Rome. He is seen by many worldwide as Christianity’s spokesman.”

Although the Pope had often been seen as an obstacle to Christian unity in the course of the history of the divided Churches, “the surprisingly positive echo which Pope Francis has received from non-Catholic Christians is surely a sign of the times”, Br Löser said. “I would therefore like to pose the following question: shouldn’t the Christian Churches take a courageous step forward and come together under one roof – and do so before they have reached agreement on all theological questions?”

Just as each Christian community required a shepherd who led his sheep back to the fold, Christianity needed a universal shepherd, Br Löser said – “not at the top of the pyramid – and not as the head, as Christ is the head of the Church, but as its heart.”