News & Opinion

2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1967
1966


Pope Francis gives a gift to Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury during a meeting with Anglican primates in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. The Pope's gift to Archbishop Welby was a bronze icon of the Mother of God, in the style of the image in Santa Maria Maggiore before which Pope Francis prays before and after all his trips, Maria Salus Populi Romani
Meeting Anglican primates, Pope Francis talks about overcoming divisions (2 May 2024)

Pope Francis gives a gift to Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury during a meeting with Anglican primates in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. The Pope's gift to Archbishop Welby was a bronze icon of the Mother of God, in the style of the image in Santa Maria Maggiore before which Pope Francis prays before and after all his trips, Maria Salus Populi Romani
Pope to Anglican bishops: ‘Patient dialogue’ needed on papal primacy (2 May 2024)

The Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Rome had an audience with Pope Francis
Anglican Primates enjoy historic meeting with Pope Francis (2 May 2024)

The skyline of Rome from the south of Vatican City with the dome of St. Peter's Basilica on the left and the Apostolic Palace in the centre
2024 Anglican Primates’ Meeting will be held in Rome for pilgrimage, consultation, and meeting with Pope Francis (24 Apr 2024)

The 10th meeting of the Malines Conversations Group was held at the Sofia Centre in Helsinki
Malines Conversations begin in Helsinki (22 Apr 2024)

Popes from the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues

Pope to Anglican bishops: ‘Patient dialogue’ needed on papal primacy
2 May 2024 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4760
Pope Francis gives a gift to Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury during a meeting with Anglican primates in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. The Pope's gift to Archbishop Welby was a bronze icon of the Mother of God, in the style of the image in Santa Maria Maggiore before which Pope Francis prays before and after all his trips, Maria Salus Populi Romani

Speaking to the Primates of the Anglican Communion, Pope Francis says that even the very earliest Christians had their disagreements.

Senior clergy from the Anglican Communion are in Rome this week for the body’s 2024 Primates Meeting – the first of its kind to be held in the Eternal City.

On Thursday morning, participants, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, met with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Long history of cooperation

Pope Francis began his address by thanking Archbishop Welby for his presence, noting that he “began his service as Archbishop of Canterbury around the same time that I began mine as Bishop of Rome.”

“Since then,” the Pope added, “we have had many occasions to meet, to pray together and to testify to our faith in the Lord. Dear brother Justin, thank you for this fraternal cooperation on behalf of the Gospel!”

He stressed in particular the pair’s joint trip to Sudan in 2023, which, he said, was “really beautiful”.

Love is the only path to Christian unity, pope says
26 January 2024 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4563
Pope Francis points something out to Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury after an evening prayer service concluding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at Rome's Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls

Divided Christians will draw closer to one another only by loving God and loving their neighbours, serving one another and not pointing fingers in blame for past faults, Pope Francis said.

Closing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with an evening prayer service Jan. 25 at Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Francis was joined by Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and, at the end of the service, the two commissioned pairs of Anglican and Catholic bishops from 27 countries to “bear witness together to the hope that does not deceive and to the unity for which our Savior prayed.”

Members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, who were meeting in Rome, also participated along with representatives of Orthodox, Protestant and Anglican communities in Italy.

In his homily, Francis reflected on the theme for the 2024 celebration of the week of prayer: “You shall love the Lord your God … and your neighbour as yourself” from Luke 10:27.

The passage comes from a Gospel story in which a scholar of the law asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. After Jesus affirms the need to love God and one’s neighbour, the scholar asks, “And who is my neighbour?”

Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury commission bishops for joint mission
25 January 2024 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4526
Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby commission Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops for joint mission and witness at the Basilica of St Paul-Outside-the-Walls in Rome

Today, Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, commissioned pairs of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops from across the world at Vespers (Evening Prayer) at the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome. Marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the ecumenical congregation drawn from various Christian traditions, prayed for the unity of the Church.

The bishop pairs are currently attending ‘Growing Together,’ a weeklong programme of ecumenical dialogue and pilgrimage, taking place in Rome and Canterbury. It is organised by the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM), supported by the Anglican Communion Office and the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity.

The Pope and the Archbishop commissioned the bishops to engage in joint mission and witness and to promote reception of the agreements already reached in theological dialogues between the two traditions. The location of the commissioning is significant, as it marks the place where the apostle Paul was buried after his martyrdom in Rome.

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 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.

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.”

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.

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”.

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.

New date confirmed for historic Ecumenical Peace Pilgrimage to South Sudan
1 December 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4330
Pope Francis greets the faithful during his weekly General Audience

Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will make an historic Ecumenical Peace Pilgrimage to South Sudan from 3rd to 5th February next year.

The long-awaited visit was due to take place in July of this year, but was postponed after the Vatican announced that Pope Francis would not be able to travel on advice from his doctors. The visit was promised during a spiritual retreat held at the Vatican in 2019, in which South Sudanese political leaders committed to working together for the good of their people.

The three spiritual leaders have often spoken of their hopes to visit South Sudan – to stand in solidarity with its people as they face the challenges of devastating flooding, widespread famine and continued violence.  Pope Francis has said: “I think of South Sudan and the plea for peace arising from its people who, weary of violence and poverty, await concrete results from the process of national reconciliation.  I would like to contribute to that process, not alone, but by making an ecumenical pilgrimage together with two dear brothers, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.”

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.”

Pope Francis wants WCC assembly that strengthens bonds between churches
1 September 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4259
Cardinal Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity (Roman Catholic Church) delivers greetings from Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church to the WCC 11th Assembly during its first thematic plenary, focused on Care for Creation. The 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches is held in Karlsruhe, Germany from 31 August to 8 September, under the theme ‘Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity’

Pope Francis, sent greetings to the World Council of Churches 11th Assembly as it opened.

The Pope wished the representatives of the churches at the 31 August to 8 September assembly “a meaningful and fruitful meeting that deepens and strengthens the bonds of communion between the Churches and the ecumenical organizations present.”

The pontiff said in advance greetings that he has a “pastoral interest in the work of the Assembly.”

Pope Francis also noted that the Catholic Church has sent “delegated observers” to WCC assemblies since the WCC 3rd Assembly took place in New Delhi in 1961.

Pope to Anglican-Catholic Dialogue Commission: ‘Unity prevails over conflict’
13 May 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4128
Pope Francis meets with members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Dialogue Commission (ARCIC III)

Pope Francis encourages the Anglican Communion to contribute to the Catholic Church’s synodal process, and looks ahead to his “pilgrimage of peace” to South Sudan in July in the company of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.

Pope Francis has reiterated the Church’s commitment to walk together with the Anglican Communion towards full Christian unity, while reflecting on the ongoing synodal process and expressing his desire to promote peace and reconciliation in South Sudan.

Speaking to members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Dialogue Commission (ARCIC), whom he received in the Vatican on Friday, the Pope recalled the establishment of the Commission in 1967 by Pope Paul VI and Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey, to embark on a journey of full reconciliation.

He noted that during three phases of work the Commission has sought “to leave behind what compromises our communion and to nurture the bonds that unite Catholics and Anglicans.”

Pope Francis to visit South Sudan, DR Congo in July
3 March 2022 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3985
Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok of Malakal, South Sudan, and Msgr. Ionut Paul Strejac, chargé d’affaires at the Vatican Embassy in South Sudan, stand in Bentiu, where ongoing flooding has submerged buildings, homes and markets

Fulfilling a promise made years ago, Pope Francis this July will visit South Sudan, a country torn apart by a civil war. He will also visit the Democratic Republic of Congo. “At the invitation of their respective Heads of State and Bishops, His Holiness Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2 to 5 July 2022, visiting the cities of Kinshasa and Goma and to South Sudan from 5 to 7 July, visiting Juba,” says the statement released by the Vatican’s press office a little after noon Rome time.

Francis had announced the trip himself, from the window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, following a Sunday Angelus in 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s instability delayed the visit. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni did not clarify if Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, would be joining in the South Sudan leg of the visit, but the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury confirmed the Anglican leader would accompany the pontiff. The two have spoken about wanting to visit this African nation together. In fact, Welby spoke about this possibility Feb. 6. “God willing, sometime in the next few months, maybe year, we will go to see them in Juba, not Rome, and see what progress can be made,” Welby said. “That’s history,” Welby said of the likely trip that will mark the first time the two Christian leaders will travel together.

Ecumenical Patriarch, Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury call for the Protection of Creation
8 September 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=4019
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Francis, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

The leaders of the Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican communions of churches have issued a rare joint statement on the need to protect creation. The message was released yesterday (Tuesday) during the Season of Creation, which runs from runs from 1 September – designated as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – to 4 October – the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. It looks ahead to the UN climate change conference taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Pope Francis’ video message for Thy Kingdom Come 2020
1 June 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3632
Pope Francis greets Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby during a private audience at the Vatican Oct. 27, 2017

Pope Francis recorded a video–message which was broadcast as part of the Pentecost service of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend Justin Welby. The period between the feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost has traditionally been a time of prayer for Christian unity. Pentecost celebrates that moment when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, peoples of many different languages were united in hearing and accepting the first preaching of the resurrection of Jesus. In the southern hemisphere many countries keep these days as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and by promoting the Thy Kingdom Come movement, Archbishop Welby has made it a special time for Christians to unite in prayer for the evangelisation of the world. In the video–message Pope Francis prays that Christians “be more deeply united as witnesses of mercy for the human family” and warns, “We cannot ask others to be united if we ourselves take different paths.”

New book of Pope Francis on communication prefaced by Archbishop Justin Welby
25 May 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3630
A new book of Pope Francis' writings on human relationships, Diversi e uniti, contains a preface by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

A new volume of the “Exchange of Gifts” series of the Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, LEV) has been issued. Entitled “Diversi e uniti. Comunico quindi sono” (“Diverse and United: I communicate, therefore I am”), the book draws together a selection of Pope Francis‘s writings in which he reflects on human relationships – the relationships that exist between people created in the image of God.

The text is introduced by Most Reverend Dr Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of Anglicans worldwide. In his preface, Archbishop Welby writes, “My brother in Christ, Pope Francis, lays before us in his words the promise of divine love and mercy: the love that God has for His people and the invitation that God gives to each of us to be in a relationship with Him”.

Older »»