Since it is Christ himself who calls us to seek Christian unity, it is entirely right and fitting that Mennonites and Catholics have entered into dialogue in order to understand the reasons for the conflict that arose between us in the sixteenth century. To understand is to take the first step towards healing. I know that the report of that dialogue, published in 2003 and currently being studied in several countries, has placed special emphasis on healing of memories.Here is the text of Benedict's greeting to the Mennonite representatives.
Mennonites are well known for their strong Christian witness to peace in the name of the Gospel, and here, despite centuries of division, the dialogue report "Called Together to be Peacemakers" has shown that we hold many convictions in common. We both emphasize that our work for peace is rooted in Jesus Christ "who is our peace, who has made us both one… making peace that he might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross (Eph 2:14-16)" (Report No. 174). We both understand that "reconciliation, nonviolence, and active peacemaking belong to the heart of the Gospel (cf. Mt 5:9; Rom 12:14-21; Eph 6:15)" (No. 179). Our continuing search for the unity of the Lord's disciples is of the utmost importance. Our witness will remain impaired as long as the world sees our divisions. Above all, what impels us to seek Christian unity is our Lord's prayer to the Father "that they may all be one… so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (Jn 17:21).
- Catholic-Mennonite Dialogue Revisited: "Purification of Memory" May 4, 2004.
- Discovering Mennonite-Catholic Dialogue February 11, 2004 - discussing Cardinal Ratzinger's legendary meeting with The Bruderhof, the first Anabaptist-origin community to enter into formal dialogue with the Catholic Church at the institutional level.
- Mennonite-Catholic dialogue grew at John Paul's behest, by Ivan J. Kauffman. Mennonite Weekly Review April 13, 2005.
- "Four centuries of division: steps towards unity": report on Catholic-Mennonite Relations Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
- BridgeFolk - "a movement of sacramentally-minded Mennonites and peace-minded Roman Catholics who come together to celebrate each other's traditions, explore each other's practices, and honor each other's contribution to the mission of Christ's Church."