(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Monday with the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, saying he hoped their meeting would serve to “strengthen further our bonds of friendship and our commitment to the great cause of reconciliation and communion between Christian believers.”
The audience came on the second day of the Anglican leader’s visit to Rome which also included a meeting with a meeting with the St Egidio community, Vespers at St Gregorio on the Caelian Hill, a visit to Rome’s Joel Nafuma Refugee Centre and an encounter with the ecumenical Global Freedom Network for the eradication of human trafficking.
Philippa Hitchen reports:
Recalling the shame of the first disciples when Jesus asked them was they were arguing about, Pope Francis said we too feel ashamed when we “ponder the distance between the Lord’s call and our meagre response.” The goal of full unity may seem distant, he said, yet it remains the aim which should direct our every step along the way.
Speaking of the official Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and the newer Anglican-Roman Catholic commission for Unity and Mission, the Pope said they are important forums for examining “in a constructive spirit, the older and newer challenges to our ecumenical engagement.” Pope Francis also thanked the Anglican Archbishop for his leadership in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery which he called “intolerable crimes against human dignity.”
Just before the audience I talked to Archbishop Welby about this work and about the goals of this, his second visit to the Vatican:
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