Joint statement of IARCCUM on the death of Pope Benedict XVI

31 December 2022 • Persistent link:

Pope Benedict XVI is rightly remembered not only as a gentle pastor but as a dedicated upholder of Catholic teaching. He was also committed to the ecumenical dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian Churches, including the Church of England and the Churches of the Anglican Communion. When he visited Lambeth Palace in 2010 as part of his State Visit to the United Kingdom, he told a gathering of Roman Catholic and Anglican bishops, “I wish to join you in giving thanks for the deep friendship that has grown between us and for the remarkable progress that has been made in so many areas of dialogue during the forty years that have elapsed since the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) began its work. Let us entrust the fruits of that work to the Lord of the harvest, confident that he will bless our friendship with further significant growth”.

He thrived on opportunities to engage in conversation with other great theological thinkers. Among them was former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. They acknowledged together in a joint statement the work of the International Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission for Unity and Mission, IARCCUM, of which we are privileged to be the current Co-Chairman: “our fellowship in the service of Christ, promoted by IARCCUM and experienced by many of our communities around the world, adds a further impetus to our relationship”.

On behalf of IARCCUM, we wish not only to remember the late Pope as a man of deep faith and spirituality, but with gratitude for his constant reminder of our ecumenical responsibility to press forward in our dialogue and relations. As he once said, “There is too much at stake to turn back”.

May Benedict now be welcomed into the joys of Christ’s kingdom and in the company of all the saints into life everlasting.

+Donald Bolen
Archbishop of Regina

+David Hamid
Suffragan Bishop in Europe