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Pope Francis

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Pope visits Anglican primate “Thank you for your friendship”

2010-09-17

Rowan Williams thanked the Pope for his visit and highlighted certain points that Anglicans and Catholics have in common.

Rowan Williams
“Perhaps we shall not quickly overcome the remaining obstacles to full, restored communion; but no obstacles stand in the way of our seeking, as a matter of joyful obedience to the Lord, more ways in which to build up one another in holiness by prayer and public celebration together”.

Both men recalled the meeting that took place nearly thirty years ago between their two predecessors, John Paul II and Robert Runcie.

For his part the Pope, speaking before Anglican and Catholic prelates, thanked the Anglican Church for the cordial relations that exist between them.

Benedict XVI
“I wish to join you in giving thanks for the deep friendship that has grown between us and for the remarkable progress that has been made in so many areas of dialogue during the forty years that have elapsed since the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission began its work”.

Benedict XVI spoke of the exemplary ecumenism of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Benedict XVI
“We celebrate a churchman whose ecclesial vision was nurtured by his Anglican background and matured during his many years of ordained ministry in the Church of England. He can teach us the virtues that ecumenism demands: on the one hand, he was moved to follow his conscience, even at great personal cost.

Following the exchange of gifts, they prayed the Our Father together in a gesture of unity. Benedict XVI accompanied the Primate to his residence where he met his wife. The two men then held a private meeting lasting half an hour.

Following the meeting a joint communique was published highlighting the importance of continuing dialogue between Christians. The Pope and the Archbishop also asked for prayers for Christians in the Holy Land and urged the international community to fight hunger and disease.