Anglican head invites Pope Francis to "walk together"
Welby says they communicate, but is tight lipped on details
File picture from June 2013: AFP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
Vatican Insider/La Stampa International
December 11, 2013
“We need to start walking together with a deep love for one another, accepting our respective differences. But walking means getting up and embarking on a journey together, not waiting for all doctrinal questions to be resolved before doing anything.” “There are various things we are working on together but I cannot reveal these yet as they are confidential,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said in a long and exhaustive interview with Italian Pauline monthly, Jesus.
Luca Attanasio’s interview was an open heart confession covering many aspects of Welby’s relationship with Francis. What emerges is a willingness on the part of the Church of England to move away from past beliefs and towards unity. There are of course doctrinal stumbling blocks that cannot be ignored and the two Churches interpret theological and ethical issues differently. But Welby is adamant he has found in Francis a spiritual leader of great merciful openness who really knows how to listen and engage in dialogue.
So much was covered during the interview: from Welby’s financial background, to his for spiritual education and his surprise nomination as leader of the Church of England. Special focus was given to current issues: women bishops “I am in favour of the ordination of women bishops, nit just in light of modern times; I consider it to be right from a theological and ecclesiological point of view.” “The Synod of Bishops is currently going through the legislative process of making the ordination of women bishops legal,” he added.
The two Churches do agree on same-sex marriages: “The Church of England opposes such a law and I myself have spoken out against same-sex marriage.” Welby did however second what what Francis recently said about homophobia, stating it is “completely unacceptable and profoundly wrong to look down on, belittle, isolate and cast out those who have different sexual orientations. Homophobia is a huge sin.”
Two points Welby talked about that were especially interesting was first, the fact that his spiritual director is a Roman Catholic and secondly, that he reads the Rule of St. Benedict at night.
Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa
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