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Greeting of Pope John Paul II to Archbishop of Canterbury

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John Paul II. "Greeting of Pope John Paul II to Archbishop of Canterbury", ARCIC-II-374 (Rome, 3 Dec. 1996).

The Holy Father’s address

Your Grace, Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I warmly welcome Your Grace on this your second visit to the See of Rome, a visit which continues a series of such meetings going back to just after the Second Vatican Council. I also recall with gratitude the occasion during my pastoral visit to Great Britain in 1982 when I was able to pray in Canterbury Cathedral with your predecessor, Archbishop Runcie. These precious moments have been significant milestones on a journey prompted and guided by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth and witness (cf. Jn 15:26).

Through these visits, and especially through the prayer which accompanies them, we have been reminded again and again that, even in our sad separation, Anglicans and Catholics have not ceased to be brothers and sisters in the one Lord. The task before us is to strengthen that bond, until we reach the full unity that is Christ’s will for us. Let us earnestly ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to reconciliation and unity in a single communion of faith, life and mission, to the glory of the Father.

During Your Grace’s stay in the City of the martyrdom of Peter and Paul, may the God of hope fill us all with joy and peace (cf. Rom 15:13).