• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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BusinessDay

Pope Francis advocates greater dialogue with Anglican bishops

The gospel is for everyone, including all sinners, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis has called for more dialogue between Anglican and Catholic bishops to deepen the gospel by looking away from their denominational differences and disagreements. “I realise that the role of the Bishop of Rome is still a controversial and divisive issue among Christians.”

He stated this during the 2024 Primates meeting with senior clergy from the Anglican Communion in Rome, where he further urged the bishops to learn from the earliest Christians who despite their disagreements worked for the unity of the gospel.

“It is necessary to engage in a patient and fraternal dialogue on this subject, a dialogue which, leaving useless controversies behind, strives to understand how the Petrine ministry can develop as a service of love for all.”

Pope Francis thanked Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury who he said began his service as Archbishop of Canterbury around the same time he was the Bishop of Rome. “Since then, we have had many occasions to meet, to pray together and to testify to our faith in the Lord.”

According to the Pope, positive results have been achieved in the various ecumenical dialogues on the question of primacy as a gift to be shared. He further urged the bishops to learn from the early Church.

He stated that the joyful spread of the gospel does not conceal moments of tension and misunderstanding. The Pope noted that earliest Christians, who had known the Lord and had encountered him as risen from the dead, were divided in their understanding of the faith.

“We are called to pray and to listen to one another, seeking to understand each other’s concerns and asking ourselves … whether we have been docile to the promptings of the Spirit, or prey to our own personal or group opinions.”