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Pope sends greetings to new Archbishop of Canterbury

March 21, 2013

Pope Francis has sent his greetings to Dr. Justin Welby, who was enthroned on March 21 as Archbishop of Canterbury and worldwide leader of the Anglican communion.

The Pope began his message by thanking the Anglican leader for his own congratulatory message after the papal election. He then continued:

The pastoral ministry is a call to walk in fidelity to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please be assured of my prayers as you take up your new responsibilities, and I ask you to pray for me as I respond to the new call that the Lord has addressed to me.

On the day the Archbishop of Canterbury was enthroned, the Vatican also released the text of a message that Pope Benedict XVI had sent on February 4, congratulating Dr. Welby after he had been selected. Pope Benedict had observed that Dr. Welby would be taking the leadership role in the Anglican communion “at a time when the Christian faith is being called into question in many parts of the Western world by those who claim that religion is a private matter, with no contribution to offer to public debate.” But he added that “the hunger for God, even if unrecognized, is ever-present in our society, and the preacher's task, as a messenger of hope, is to speak the truth with love, shedding the light of Christ into the darkness of people's lives.”


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