14 June 2013
Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, England, and Pope Francis attend a prayer service during a private audience at the Vatican on 14 June. (photo: CNS/Stefano Spaziani, pool)
Pope Francis met for the first time the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury today, and in his prepared remarks spoke about the desire for Christian unity:
Today’s meeting is an opportunity to remind ourselves that the search for unity among Christians is prompted not by practical considerations, but by the will of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who made us his brothers and sisters, children of the One Father. Hence the prayer that we make today is of fundamental importance.
This prayer gives a fresh impulse to our daily efforts to grow toward unity, which are concretely expressed in our cooperation in various areas of daily life. Particularly important among these is our witness to the reference to God and the promotion of Christian values in a world that seems at times to call into question some of the foundations of society, such as respect for the sacredness of human life or the importance of the institution of the family built on marriage, a value that you yourself have had occasion to recall recently.
Then there is the effort to achieve greater social justice, to build an economic system that is at the service of man and promotes the common good. Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor, so that they are not abandoned to the laws of an economy that seems at times to treat people as mere consumers.
Read more of the pope’s remarks, and those of the archbishop, at this link.
Tags: Pope Francis Vatican Ecumenism Christian Unity