Friday 14th June 2013
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has been received in audience by Pope Francis in Rome today. During the meeting the Holy Father recalled the 'complex' past relations between Anglicans and Catholics, but also remarked on the 'rapprochement and fraternity' of recent decades.
Speaking for the first time about the significance of the Personal Ordinariates established by Benedict XVI, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude for 'the sincere efforts' made by the Church of England, to understand the purpose and importance of the Personal Ordinariates. He went on to state that the Ordinariates 'respond to the wishes of those groups of Anglicans who have asked to be received collectively into the Catholic Church'.
In his first remarks about the purpose and future of the Personal Ordinariates, the Holy Father said that he was 'sure' that the structures 'will enable the spiritual, liturgical and pastoral traditions that form the Anglican patrimony to be better known and appreciated in the Catholic world'.
This is the first visit of the new leader of the Anglican Communion to Pope Francis.