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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet you this morning in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I extend a warm welcome to you, Archbishop Runcie, as well as the other representatives of the Anglican Communion who accompany you.
As we meet this morning, Your Grace, we are supported by the hopes and prayers for unity that rise from the hearts of Catholics and Anglicans throughout the world. We call to mind the groundwork that has been done by those who have gone before us in responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, who leads and urges us along the path of unity in accordance with the will of Christ. In the course of the last decades, a new intensity of relationship has emerged at many levels between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. We rejoice in what has been achieved and seek God’s guidance for the future.
At the meeting in 1966 of our beloved predecessors of happy memory, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey, a mandate was given to the first Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. The intervening years have been a time of painstaking study by the Commission. Progress has been made, but it is also true that the character of and background to the differences that still separate us have come into clearer light. We must face our differences honestly, but always with openness and undaunted hope. I take this opportunity to assure the members of the Commission and all who work for fuller communion between Catholics and Anglicans that they have my continued prayers and support.
May the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit sustain us all in the ecumenical task to which we have been called. May his abundant blessings be upon Catholics and Anglicans everywhere.