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Archbishop of York speaks of strengthened unity after audience with the Pope

22 May 2023

Vatican Media

The Archbishop of York meets Pope Francis on Monday. The director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Archbishop Ian Ernest, looks on (right)

The Archbishop of York meets Pope Francis on Monday. The director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Archbishop Ian Ernest, looks on (right)

THE Archbishop of York met the Pope on Monday during his first official visit to the Vatican and the Anglican Centre in Rome.

Archbishop Cottrell spoke of the encouragement of meeting people within the Roman Catholic Church leadership. “My prayer is that Christians of all denominations can work together more and be united in our desire to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit, as we look to share the love of God as seen in Jesus with the many in our world who long for hope and meaning in their lives.

“It is my experience that it is when we, the Church of Jesus Christ in all its manifold shapes and sizes, reach out together in mission, in service of the world, and in proclamation of the gospel, that our unity is strengthened and revealed.”

He said that his audience with Pope Francis, at which he was accompanied by his chaplain, the Revd Dr Jenny Wright, and his wife, Rebecca, had “further consolidated the strong bonds of friendship between our two World Communions. We are now looking forward for further co-operation between the Dicasteries of the Vatican and the Anglican Centre in Rome.”

The Archbishop’s visit this week includes meetings with Vatican departments connected with evangelisation and ecumenism. On Wednesday, he will participate in a conversation with the Pro-Prefect of the Section for the First Evangelization and New Particular Churches of the Dicastery for Evangelization, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, at a conference entitled “The Ecumenical Impact on Evangelization”.

He will also preach at both the Anglican Centre in Rome and All Saints’, Rome. Other visits will be to the Community of Sant’Egidio, a lay Roman Catholic association dedicated to social service; San Gregorio Magno al Celio, in Rome, part of a monastery of monks of the Camaldolese branch of the Benedictine Order; and the Venerable English College, a seminary training English and Welsh Roman Catholic priests.

Archbishop Cottrell’s visit is being hosted by the Director of the Anglican Centre and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, the Most Revd Ian Ernest. He said that the visit: “comes as an affirmation of the longing of the Anglican Communion to diligently and constantly work for the visible unity of Christians. The personal commitment of Archbishop Stephen, in the different callings he has exercised, to encourage a collaborative spirit amongst different groups of people, in spite of cultural, denominational, and religious differences, inspires and encourages us to carry forward with love the mission entrusted to the Anglican Centre in Rome.”

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