​Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and Pope Francis affirmed the bonds of "friendship" and "love" between Roman Catholics and Anglicans when they met for the first time in Rome on 14 June.

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 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."

The Pope, who said their closeness of their inaugurations in March meant "we will always have a particular reason to support one another in prayer", said the meeting was an opportunity to remember that the search for unity among Christians is not prompted by practical considerations, but by Christ, "who made us his brothers and sisters, children of the One Father".

The Archbishop, who was accompanied by his wife, Caroline, visited the tomb of St Peter beneath the Basilica before praying at the tomb of Pope John Paul II. He was also joined by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, as well as Archbishop David Moxon, his representative to the Holy See.

After meeting Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Archbishop met the Pope at the Apostolic Palace. The pair held a private conversation, before giving public addresses and attending a service of midday prayer together.
 
 

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