Commissioning of the IARCCUM Bishops at St Paul Outside the Walls

In January of 2024, IARCCUM gathered pairs of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops from twenty-seven regions for an Summit in Rome and Canterbury. This gathering was an opportunity to study and pray together at the tombs of Saints Peter, Paul, Augustine of Canterbury, and Thomas à Becket. The 2024 Summit provided an opportunity for the bishops to discuss the ecumenical context in their own countries and to learn from each other’s experiences. The bishop-pairs were commissioned by Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby at vespers at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls on January 25th during the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. These bishops were commissioned to promote the growth in communion between these two churches and the reception of the agreements reached in the theological dialogues.

A brief description of the role of the IARCCUM Bishops has been prepared.

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Francis and Justin Welby. "Commissioning of the IARCCUM Bishops at St Paul Outside the Walls" (Rome & Canterbury, 25 Jan. 2024).

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Text of the Commissioning of the IARCCUM Bishops

during the celebration of Vespers on the Solemnity of the Conversion of St Paul

Pope Francis (in Italian)

Brothers and sisters,

Fourteen centuries ago, Pope Gregory the Great commissioned Saint Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, and his companions, to set out from Rome to preach the joy of the Gospel to the peoples of England. Today, with gratitude to God for our sharing in the Gospel, we send you forth, beloved co-workers for the kingdom of God, so that wherever you carry out your ministry, you may together bear witness to the hope that does not deceive and the unity for which our Saviour prayed.

The Archbishop of Canterbury

Brothers and sisters,

God reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. As we send you forth from the tomb of the Apostle to the Nations, we call on you to make this ministry your special care. As you preach and celebrate the sacraments with God’s holy people, bear witness to the one hope of your calling. May your ministry alongside one another as Catholics and Anglicans be for the world a foretaste of the reconciling of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ for which we pray this day.

The Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury together

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with all of you.