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Pope Francis calls for more cooperation with Anglicans

Pope Francis calls for more cooperation with Anglicans

Vatican City, May 2, 2024 (KAP) Pope Francis wants to deepen cooperation with the Anglican Church. “The Lord calls each of us to be builders of unity, and even if we are not yet one, our imperfect partnership must not prevent us from walking together,” he told senior Anglican clergy at the Vatican on Thursday. . They held their central meeting in Rome for the first time in the past few days.

The Pope also stressed: “It would be a scandal if, due to divisions, we do not fulfill our common vocation to proclaim Christ.” Francis called on people not to be afraid of discussions. The Catholic and Anglican Churches must try to understand each other and listen to the Holy Spirit. “Certainly, the divine perspective will never be one of division, separation, or cessation of dialogue,” the Pope said.

Francis openly praised his collaboration with the primate Welby. “We have had many opportunities to meet and pray together and bear witness to our faith in the Lord,” the Archbishop of Canterbury addressed: “Dear Brother Justin, thank you for this fraternal cooperation for the sake of the Gospel.”

The leaders of the 38 ecclesiastical provinces of the global Anglican Communion hold their central meeting approximately every two years. The primate meeting in Rome began on Monday and ends on Friday. The program included joint prayer, Bible study and discussions as well as visits to holy places such as St. Peter's Basilica, St. Paul's Church Outside the Walls, the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere and the lay Catholic organization Sant'Egidio. It is particularly committed to peace and committed disadvantaged people.

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At the end of January, an Anglican-Catholic meeting was held in Rome and Canterbury, where about 50 bishops from 27 countries held discussions and visited holy sites important to both traditions. Pope Francis and Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby sent a strong ecumenical signal: at the tomb of the Apostle Paul in St Paul's Outside the Walls, they commissioned Catholic and Anglican bishops in pairs to be witnesses of unity. The global Anglican Communion has between 77 and 85 million members.