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Pope Francis: Unity must be cultivated between the churches

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Pope Francis met with clergy from the Anglican Communion for their 2024 Primates Meeting. He highlighted the work of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission, which has focused on overcoming hurdles on the ecumenical journey.

“The Lord calls each of us to be builders of unity, and although we are not yet one, our imperfect communion should not prevent us from walking together,” he said.

The two churches faced a few centuries of rough relations and conflict. But this international commission represented a rebirth of the dialogue between the two churches.

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In 1966, Pope Paul VI, together with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, signed a common declaration inaugurating a serious dialogue between the two churches with the goal of cultivating unity.

While there are still obstacles keeping the two churches from completely reuniting, popes and the Anglican clergy have continued to foster this ecumenical relationship.

“The doors have been wide open and our concerns have been heard. Our concerns have been expressed. We’ve shared our common hopes,” expressed Rowan Williams, former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury.

Most recently, in the first session of the Synod on Synodality, the topic of ecumenism was discussed.

The synod report highlighted its importance, saying without ecumenism, there can be no synodality.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury expressed gratitude for the papal audience, “Thank you for ministry as well, your Petrine and primatial ministry around the world.”

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