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Rome Reports

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Pope speaks of prayer, witness and mission in common journey with Archbishop of Canterbury

After a celebrating First Vespers Wednesday as friends, Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, met on-on-one and then spoke in front of the Anglicanâ??Roman Catholic International Commission.

The private meeting displayed their friendship, which can be seen through their laughter, despite the language barrier. 

During the meeting with the Commission, the archbishop first took a moment to thank Pope Francis. 

JUSTIN WELBY

Archbishop of Canterbury

"We are blessed by your teaching and by your example. You have recalled us afresh to the needs of the poor. You have set a Christ-like example in the face of suffering and difficulty. You've stood alongside migrant peoples. You've initiated work on modern slavery and human trafficking and much more.�

The pope recalled the importance of the meeting between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church and the fruits that have come from the past 50 years. He also spoke about three words that can inspire them along their common journey in faith: prayer, witness and mission. 

POPE FRANCIS

"Let us never grow tired of asking the Lord together and insistently for the gift of unity. And to ask the grace of growing in prayer, in bearing witness and in going out in mission, may I invite you to pray together the Lordâ??s Prayer.â?

The pope then led the group in the Our Father in English. 

Pope Francis also gifted the Archbishop three of his works and a medallion, which came after the significant and historic exchange of gifts from the night before at the Basilica of San Gregorio al Celio. 

In this same place 50 years ago, Pope Paul VI gave Archbishop Ramsey his own episcopal ring, and to mark the anniversary Archbishop Welby presented the pope with his own pectoral cross. It was a symbolic gesture that received a grand applause.

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