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• Arms trade is a ‘plague,’ pope says on flight back from Juba (5 Feb 2023)

• Praying with South Sudan’s Christians, leaders urge new steps towards unity (4 Feb 2023)

• My heart breaks at violence in South Sudan, says Archbishop of Canterbury (4 Feb 2023)

• Pope appeals to South Sudan’s leaders to halt the bloodshed (3 Feb 2023)

• Lasting peace is within “reach” in South Sudan (3 Feb 2023)

News & Opinion from the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues

Arms trade is a ‘plague,’ pope says on flight back from Juba
5 February 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4379
Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby, right, stands by Rev. Iain Greenshields, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and Pope Francis as he speaks to journalists aboard the flight from Juba, South Sudan, to Rome

Pope Francis asked the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury and the moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland to join him for his usual post-trip news conference on their flight back to Rome from Juba, South Sudan, Feb. 5.

At the end of six days in African countries bloodied by war and conflict, Pope Francis said that “the biggest plague” afflicting the world today is the weapons trade.

Tribalism with its ancient rivalries is a problem, he told reporters Feb. 5, “but it is also true that the violence is provoked” by the ready supply of weapons and that making it easier for people to kill each other just to make money “is diabolical — I have no other word for it.”

Praying with South Sudan’s Christians, leaders urge new steps towards unity
4 February 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4376
Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby and Moderator Greenshields pray the Aaronic blessing on the assembly at the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil in Juba, the centre-piece of their unique Ecumenical Peace Pilgrimage to South Sudan

As part of their historic ecumenical pilgrimage to South Sudan, Pope Francis, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and the Rev. Iain Greenshields, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, led an ecumenical prayer for peace Feb. 4 in Juba. After scolding South Sudan’s political leaders and consoling some of its poorest victims, Pope Francis, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and the Rev. Iain Greenshields, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, rallied their faithful to prayer and action.

My heart breaks at violence in South Sudan, says Archbishop of Canterbury
4 February 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4374
Archbishop Justin Welby preaching at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Juba, South Sudan

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said “my heart breaks with sorrow for South Sudan” amidst ongoing violence and sectarian conflict in the country. Preaching at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Juba this morning, the Archbishop urged those who have committed “secret crimes and evil deeds” to ask for God’s mercy and transformation and prayed they would know the “infinite love of Christ”. The Archbishop is currently on a historic three-day Pilgrimage for Peace to South Sudan with Pope Francis and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.

Pope appeals to South Sudan’s leaders to halt the bloodshed
3 February 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4368
Archbishop Justin Welby, Pope Francis, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and Rev. Iain Greenshields during the meeting with South Sudanese authorities in Juba

Pope Francis tells the leaders of divided South Sudan that future generations will either venerate their names or cancel their memory, based on what they do now, and he issues an appeal “to leave the time of war behind and let a time of peace dawn.”

Lasting peace is within “reach” in South Sudan
3 February 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4372
Archbishop Justin Welby, Pope Francis, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and Rev. Iain Greenshields during the meeting with South Sudanese authorities in Juba

The President and the Vice Presidents of South Sudan have it within their “reach” to extend justice and compassion to all the people of the world’s youngest nation, the Moderator of the General Assembly has said. Addressing President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Vice Presidents in Juba this afternoon, Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields told them that the world “needs churches and leaders who are generous of heart, liberal of love, and profligate with God’s grace.”

The Five Marks of Mission: Today and Tomorrow – ACC prepares for 18th plenary
2 February 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4370
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) will convene for its 18th plenary from 12 to 19 February

The 18th plenary meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council will take place in Accra, Ghana, from 12 to 19 February. The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is one of four “Instruments of Communion or “Instruments of Unity” of the global Anglican Communion of 42 autonomous and interdependent-yet-interdependent Churches present in more than 165 countries. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, is President of the ACC and will join other members of the ACC in Accra for this month’s meeting.

Update on ecumenical relations of the Holy See
31 January 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4366
L'Osservatore Romano

As in previous years, during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity L’Osservatore Romano published a series of articles prepared by the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity on the ecumenical relations of the Holy See. The texts, which are published in Italian, offer an update on the ecumenical situation and on initiatives undertaken in 2022.

Pope Francis, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders ask for prayers before trip
30 January 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4364
Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican

Before beginning their ecumenical pilgrimage of peace to South Sudan, Pope Francis and the leaders of the Anglican Communion and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland asked Christians around the globe to accompany them with prayers. Pope Francis is scheduled to fly first to Congo for a visit Jan. 31-Feb. 3 before meeting up in Juba, South Sudan, with Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and the Rev. Iain Greenshields, moderator of the Church of Scotland. About 60% of South Sudan’s population is Christian, and the leaders’ three denominations are the largest in the country.

Pope urges prayers for ‘pilgrimage of peace’ to South Sudan & DRC
29 January 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4358
Catholics attend Mass in St. Charles parish in Kinshasa ahead of the Pope's visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Pope Francis invites Christians to pray for his upcoming Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, saying the African nations have suffered greatly from lengthy conflicts. Pope Francis sets off on Tuesday as a “pilgrim of peace” to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan on 31 January – 5 February.

3 Voices to give 1 message in South Sudan on “quite unique” trip in Church history
29 January 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4360
Archbishop Justin Welby meets with Rt Rev Iain Greenshields, newly elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

In South Sudan, “the Church speaks with one voice for peace,” says Presbyterian leader about the upcoming trip with Pope Francis. From February 3 to 5, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Dr. Iain Greenshields, will join Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, on a “pilgrimage of peace” to South Sudan. The three Christian branches have worked together for several years to promote peace in the youngest state in the world, which continues to be troubled by conflict since its independence in 2011.

Hopes high Pope’s African visit will clear path to peace
27 January 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4357
A young woman carries a Cross during a march in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, to protest escalating violence in the country

Braving a volatile political and security situation, Pope Francis embarks on a long-anticipated journey of unity and reconciliation to two African countries wracked by bitter divisions, warring factions and humanitarian crises seldom on the radar of international power brokers.

The Pope will travel first to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Jan. 31 before proceeding to South Sudan from Feb. 3-5. In the latter country, he will be joined by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields, in what has been described as an ecumenical pilgrimage to facilitate a peace process that has been moving at a glacial pace following 10 years of a brutal civil war.

Brothers and Sisters on a Pilgrim Journey: Methodists and Anglicans and the Catholic Church
27 January 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4354
Delegates pray together during a Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church

The language of walking and pilgrimage has been used for many years regarding the deepening of ecumenical relationships. For example, when Pope Francis received the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in June 2014, he ended his address by saying, “we must walk together.” Two years later, in the [Common] Declaration issued by the Holy Father and the Archbishop at the Church of Saint Gregory, the two leaders said that fifty years of dialogue enabled their two communions to see themselves as “partners and companions on our pilgrim journey.” Also in 2016, the bishops of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) issued an appeal entitled, Walking Together: Common Service to the World and Witness to the Gospel, declaring that “Anglicans and Roman Catholics walk together by faith, guided and strengthened by our Lord who walks the pilgrim path with us.”

Hope, excitement, and expectations spread in South Sudan ahead of global Christian leaders’ visit
26 January 2023 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4352
People pray during a nighttime vigil for peace in Nakubuse, a small village near Kuron in South Sudan's Eastern Equatoria State. The region has been plagued by cattle raiding and child abduction in recent years. The Catholic Church-sponsored Holy Trinity Peace Village, centered in Kuron, has worked for years to foster reconciliation and peace between the region's pastoralist communities

Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church; Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, UK; and Rt. Rev. Iain Greenshields, moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland; will travel to the world’s youngest nation on 3- 5 February on a spiritual and peace mission.

Barely a week to the visit, Juba, the capital city has been exuberant, with billboards coming up and flowers being planted. Roads are being tarmacked and churches renovated in preparation for the rare and unique visit. T-shirts with images of the leaders have also appeared, as traders in the markets increased stocks of Christian items related to the visit, including tiny crucifixes and rosaries, according to sources in the capital.

Joint statement of IARCCUM on the death of Pope Benedict XVI
31 December 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4342
The IARCCUM logo shows two doves perched on the same bird bath; a place where they can both wash and drink together. They have flown in from other places and are together, because they have freely chosen to land together. They trust each other and know that they are in a place of refreshment for them both. Anglicans and Catholics share the same theology and practise of baptism, whose waters make us members of the Body of Christ; whose purpose refreshes us for mission in many places.

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”.

Pope Benedict XVI: a statement from the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion
31 December 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4344
Pope Benedict XVI and the then-Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, hold a private meeting in the Pope's study at the Vatican

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, has issued a statement following the death of Benedict XVI, expressing his “great sadness” and assuring brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church of his prayers.

Bishop Anthony Poggo is currently returning to the UK from Tanzania after preaching the Christmas Day sermon Christ Church Cathedral in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Speaking at the airport, he said:

“It is with great sadness that I learn of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the death of Pope Benedict XVI
31 December 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4347
Pope Benedict XVI

Today I join with the church throughout the world, and especially with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, and all in the Catholic Church, in mourning the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

In Pope Benedict’s long life and ministry of service to Christ in His Church he saw many profound changes in the church and in the world. He lived through the Nazi regime in Germany and served briefly in the Second World War. As a younger theologian and priest he witnessed first-hand the discussions of the Second Vatican Council. As a professor and then as an Archbishop he lived in a divided Germany but saw too the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of his homeland.

St Chad ‘returns’ to Lichfield Cathedral
7 November 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4287
An artist’s impression of the new Shrine of St Chad at the Church of England's Lichfield Cathedral. The Archdiocese of Birmingham has given a portion of the relics of St Chad to establish the new shrine on the original site

A relic of St Chad is due to transferred from Birmingham to Lichfield cathedral tomorrow as a shrine of St Chad is reinstated in the location of the original medieval shrine.

St Chad, a monk and abbot, moved his see from Repton to Lichfield when he was made Bishop of Mercia in 669. He died just three years later in a plague. He became associated with healing, until his relics had to be moved during the Dissolution. They were eventually enshrined at St Chad’s new Catholic cathedral in Birmingham when it opened in 1841, in a new ark designed by Pugin.

Pope Francis prays for unity of church as he celebrates anniversary of Vatican II
11 October 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4261
Bishops gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica for the opening session of the Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council was the universal Catholic Church’s response to God’s love and to Jesus’ command to feed his sheep, Pope Francis said, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the council’s opening.

The council reminded the church of what is “essential,” the pope said: “a church madly in love with its Lord and with all the men and women whom he loves,” one that “is rich in Jesus and poor in assets,” a church that “is free and freeing.”

Irish Benedictine to lead Vatican’s relations with Anglicans and Methodists
7 October 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4278
Fr Martin Browne, OSB

Pope Francis has appointed an Irish Benedictine to lead the Vatican’s dialogue with the Anglican Communion. The Irish Catholic reports Fr. Martin Browne OSB, a monk at Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, County Limerick, Ireland will shortly take up the post in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity.  He succeeds Fr. Anthony Currer as the official for Methodist and Anglican Relations.

‘Ecumenical winter’ must end, declares Archbishop Welby
8 September 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4257
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby addressed the WCC Assembly during the thematic plenary on Christian unity

At times of world crisis, the “habits of division” between Christians must end, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Wednesday. He was addressing the 11th World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly, meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany (Comment, 2 September).

Archbishop Welby spoke of the Lambeth Conference meeting in Canterbury over the summer (News, 19 August), at which participants had expressed “huge differences” over matters such as human sexuality. “We found our way forward through, not by solving the issues but by living in the light of Christ, by saying we do not agree, by being honest without excluding one another.”

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