Page 5, 16th September 1955

16th September 1955
Page 5
Page 5, 16th September 1955 — 'THURSDAY CANDLE FOR UNITY

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Locations: Niederalteich, Rome


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Symbol of prayers is spreading from the Soviet Zone

IF the •' Thursday Candle" continues to grow in popularity in churches all over the world, it may become a symbol of the Una Sancta movement and of all efforts dedicated to the cause of Christian unity.

Two years ago a Protestant sisterhood gave a candle to the Benedictine Abbey at Niederalteich, Bavaria. Its holder hears the words: " That All May Be One." They were carved by a Protestant youth group in the Soviet Zone of Germany.

Each Thursday the candle burns in the sanctuary as a symbol of the prayers being oflered for unity.

A similar candle burns every Thursday in St. Peter's, Rome. Another burns in England in the Anglican Abbey of Nashdom. Others burn in the sanctuaries of Mexican and South African mission stations.

a he abbey at Niederalteich, where the custom began, is one of the centres of the Una Sancta (One and Holy) movement in Germany. On its gate is inscribed the motto of Abbot tieufelders 0.S.B.: In Christo Unum " (One in Christ).

The Abbot, a pioneer in the Una Sancta movement, recently dedicated a wing of his monastery as a " House of Convention " to he used for meetings of Catholic and non-Catholic clergy.

Una Sancta is not an ecumenical movement as such. In Germany it is an effort by Catholics and Lutherans to conic to an understanding of what caused the separation of their religious beliefs and practices.

Una Sancta was officially recognised by the German Catholic Bishops' Conference at Fulda. It is guided on the Catholic side by Archbishop Jaeger of Paderborn and a commission of 12 Catholic theologians. It has the permission of the Bishops in each diocese.

From the Protestant side it has the hacking of Bishop W. Staehlin, formerly of Oldenburg, who has a similar commission of Lutheran theologians as advisers.

Dom Thomas Sartory, 0.S.B., who directs the " House of Convention," has been appointed editor of the magazine " Una Sancta," which has subscribers in 17 countries.

There are Una Sancta groups in most of the larger German cities.

In Belgium, the Benedictines of Chevetogne have for many years been engaged in work similar to the Una Sancta.

The movement was started about 30 years ago by Fr. Max Joseph Netzger. He was killed by the Nazis in 1944.

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