The Guardian reports on the first meeting of the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu with Pope Benedict XVI.
When meeting the Pope it is customary to offer him a gift, and Benedict XVI has amassed many tokens of esteem. Tony Blair gave him a painting of the Catholic convert Cardinal Newman and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah presented him with a jewelled scimitar.
When the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, met the pontiff he gave him the Holy Grail, a beer brewed in Masham, North Yorkshire.
It was the highlight of the archbishop's first trip to Rome to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and to cement cordial relations between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.
The Rev Canon Robert Paterson, Sentamu's chaplain, said of the meeting and discussions of the Anglican Communion:
"We said, 'Nothing is broken. Lambeth is going ahead, Rowan [the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams] is fine and it's steady as she goes'." Vatican insiders said Williams and the Pope bonded immediately when they met in 2006. Both academics, they had read each other's books before their private audience and the Pope was delighted that Williams addressed him in German. "They had a three-hour lunch," said one source. "The Pope never has a three-hour lunch with anyone."
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