By editor - 15 June, 2013
At the end of his first visit to the Vatican, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he and Pope Francis shared ideas on economic justice, on the plight of Christians in the Middle East, but also on their deeply personal experiences of God’s calling in their daily lives. Following their morning audience and joint […]
At the end of his first visit to the Vatican, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he and Pope Francis shared ideas on economic justice, on the plight of Christians in the Middle East, but also on their deeply personal experiences of God’s calling in their daily lives.
Following their morning audience and joint prayer service, the leader of the Anglican Communion described the Pope as a man of “extraordinary humanity, on fire with the Spirit of Christ”. While admitting there are obstacles on the road to reconciliation between Anglicans and Catholics, he said he sensed a new vigour and common commitment “to prove the radicality” of the Christian Gospel.Speaking to Philippa Hitchen in the garden of the Venerable English College at the end of the brief visit, the archbishop said he and the Pope also joked about the way they had inaugurated their ministries within two days of each other earlier this year……
“We started off by just laughing….he teased me and said ‘I’m two days ahead of you. so I said ‘that’s more or less twins!’….it was a very relaxed conversation about our prayer and personal spirituality and our walk as disciples of Jesus Christ….
We talked about what it is that makes for just social and economic systems, agreeing on the need for conversion of the human heart – the law can only do so much but the heart has to be touched and that’s something where the Churches can work together very powerfully indeed…
The Anglican Communion tens to do its arguing very loudly, so everyone knows when we disagree – that doesn’t always mean they are more significant arguements than those who do that less loudly……secondly, we’re working very hard to rebuild personal relationships……(we) started a project called The Bible in the Life of the Church, helping parts of the Communion understand why other parts read the Bible in certain ways….. and we pray – in the power of God all things are possible….
Obviously there are big issues (in Anglican-Catholic relations) such as the ordination of women to the episcopate, but where I see a great deal of hope is a welling up of a sense that we cannot tollerate complacently that we live separately….there’s a sense of vigour which is important and also important work on the theological level….
2013-06-14 (Vatican Radio)