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Francis and Justin meet in Rome

Francis and Justin meet in Rome

Archbishop Justin Welby and Pope Francis have met for the first time today in Rome. Both affirmed the bonds of “friendship” and “love” between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

A report appears on the ABC website:

The two leaders agreed that the fruits of this dialogue and relationship have the potential to empower Christians around the world to demonstrate the love of Christ.

The Archbishop and the Pope agreed on the need to build an economic system which promotes “the common good” to help those suffering in poverty.

Archbishop Justin said that Christians must reflect “the self-giving love of Christ” by offering love and hospitality to the poor, and “love above all those tossed aside” by present crises around the world.

The Pope said those with the least in society “must not be abandoned to the laws of an economy that seems at times to treat people as mere consumers”.

They also agreed on the need for Christians to act as peacemakers around the world, which they acknowledged could only be done if Christians “live and and work together in harmony,” the Pope said.

Archbishop Justin, who has been deeply influenced by Catholic social teaching and intends to focus on healing divisions in church and society as part of his ministry, told the Pope: “I pray that the nearness of our two inaugurations may serve the reconciliation of the world and the Church.”

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Chris Epting

Encouraging first meeting focusing on common commitments to justice and peace. Francis and Justin just may have enough savvy to focus on things we actually can do together (mission) rather than those we cannot (ecclesiology).

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