Vatican City, May 13, 2022 / 12:20 pm (CNA).
Pope Francis said on Friday that members of the Anglican Communion are “valued traveling companions” as Catholics take part in a worldwide synodal process.
Speaking to the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Dialogue Commission (ARCIC) on May 13, the pope said he hoped that Anglicans would contribute to the two-year initiative leading to the Synod on Synodality in Rome in 2023.
He said: “As you know, the Catholic Church has inaugurated a synodal process: for this common journey to be truly such, the contribution of the Anglican Communion cannot be lacking. We look upon you as valued traveling companions.”
The 85-year-old pope noted that in July he is due to travel to South Sudan with Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Communion.
The pope, who has been making his public appearances in a wheelchair since May 5 due to a torn ligament in his right knee, said: “As part of this concrete journey, I wish to recommend to your prayers an important step. Archbishop Justin Welby and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, two dear brothers, will be my traveling companions when, in a few weeks’ time, we will at last be able to travel to South Sudan.”
“The visit was postponed on account of the troubles in that country. My brother Justin is sending his wife ahead of us for the works of preparation and charity. This is the fine work he is doing with his wife, as a couple, and I thank her very much.”
He added: “Ours will be an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace. Let us pray that it may inspire Christians in South Sudan and everywhere to be promotors of reconciliation, patient weavers of concord, capable of saying no to the perverse and useless spiral of violence and of arms.”
The Anglican Communion is the world’s third-largest Christian communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. It has an estimated 85 million members in more than 165 countries.
ARCIC was founded in 1967 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI. Currently in its third phase, the commission’s most recent document is entitled “Walking Together on the Way.”
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