Ecumenical Send-Off

Pope Francis meets Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, England, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, at the Vatican Oct. 6. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)Pope Francis meets Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, England, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, at the Vatican Oct. 6. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

Pope Francis and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, together charged 19 pairs of Catholic and Anglican bishops to return to their home countries and work together to promote joint prayer, joint proclamation of the Gospel and especially joint works of charity and justice. “Today we rejoice to commission them and send them forth in pairs as the Lord sent out the 72 disciples,” the pope and archbishop said in a common declaration signed on Oct. 5 at the end of an evening prayer service at the Church of St. Gregory on the Caelian Hill in Rome. The 38 bishops are part of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission. “Let the message go out from this holy place, as the good news was sent out so many centuries ago, that Catholics and Anglicans will work together to give voice to our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to bring relief to the suffering, to bring peace where there is conflict, to bring dignity where it is denied and trampled upon,” Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby said in their statement.

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Mike Evans
2 years ago
Within the major dioceses, the two churches have NOT worked well together nor seemed interested in doing so. I served as a Catholic Deacon on the Episcopal Community Services board for nearly 9 years. Did not get any real overtures from our own Catholic Charities about working together. At the same time it was only in the small rural parishes where local Catholic and Episcopal clergy even knew each other.

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