Over 1,400 years ago, St. Augustine of Canterbury departed from this basilica with 40 other monks to spread the Gospel in England. The site is now a place of pilgrimage to both Anglicans and Catholics.
“With His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury who, together with us, recognizes this Monastery as the birthplace of the link between Christianity in Britain and the Church of Rome.”
This was the third time that an Anglican primate has visited with the pope in the home of St. Gregory the Great.
For the ceremony, a stone Celtic cross was brought from Canterbury and placed in the basilica.
“To be immersed in the sacramental life of Christ’s Body requires the daily immersion of contemplation; without this, we cannot see one another clearly; without it we shall not truly recognize and love one another, and grow together in his one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Body.”
On that same morning, the two held a private meeting at the Vatican. They discussed relations between the two Churches as well as an exchanging of gifts.
Despite the differences and points of controversy between the two Churches, their leaders share a strong personal relationship.
Most recently, Benedict XVI invited the most renowned choir from the Anglican Church to sing at the Vatican during the feast day of St. Peter and Paul.