Delivered in the Waldegrave Drawing Room, St Mary's University College, Twickenham

Most Holy Father,

When I remember him, I find I give ever greater thanks to God for your predecessor, Paul VI, who referred to this land as a “terreno ecumenico” – ecumenical land.

The story of this land, including the fact that blood was once shed because of conflicts about the way of life Christ, offers specific challenges and opportunities in the ecumenical journey to which the Holy Spirit calls us in our day. To that journey, in all its complexity, you are devoting time in this coming part of this day.

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But it seems to me because of our complex history, again with dark days and indeed blood shed through issues of domination, culture, race and religion, I feel this is a unique terrain in an aspect of life across today’s world, which gathers us all here today.

There are specific challenges and opportunities which we have had to face and still face, if we would discern together how to be always and everywhere instruments of justice and peace.

We thank you, and I do so in great confidence in the light of the sharing that’s taken place here this morning. We thank you for your presence and your words. And we promise that we’ll be faithful to the way of truth, wisdom, holiness and peace.

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