Pope Francis holds first meeting with the new Archbishop of Canterbury
June 14, 2013. (Romereports.com) Pope Francis walked along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at the Vatican. Their first official meeting included a mid-day prayer, as well as visit to the tomb of St. Peter and that of Blessed John Paul II.
But before praying together, Pope Francis met with the new head of the Anglican Communion at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, where Welby was accompanied by his wife. There, both leaders talked about the common ground they share. To start off, the Pope mentioned the fact that they were both recently sworn in.
“Since we began our respective ministries within days of each other, I think we will always have a particular reason to support one another in prayer.”
Pope Francis and Welby admitted that the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Anglican communion is complex. Yet, the will to promote Christian values is a common value they both share. For that to happen, they said, reconciliation and unity are essential.
ARCH. JUSTIN WELBY
Archbishop of Canterbury
“So there has come to many a new longing for the unity of all Christians, and a new knowledge that however long the road may be, charity already makes all the difference to it.”
Recent tensions among the Catholic Church and Anglicans includes the ordination of women. In fact, Benedict XVI created a so called personal ordinariate, where Anglicans who were at odds with this, were welcomed back into the Catholic Church, while being allowed to keep their traditions. But the Pope said they must not forget their ecumenical progress.
“This journey has been brought about both via theological dialogue, through the work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, and via the growth of cordial relations at every level through shared daily lives in a spirit of profound mutual respect and sincere cooperation.”
The Pope explained that while some question the foundations of society like, the respect for life, family and marriage, they as Christian leaders, must work together to promote their shared values.