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Pope Francis congratulates new Archbishop of Canterbury on his enthronement

By on Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby (PA)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby (PA)

Pope Francis has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, to congratulate him on his enthronement today.

In a message to the new principal leader of the Church of England and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Pope Francis wrote: “I thank you for the kind words contained in your message to me at my election, and I wish in turn to offer my greetings and best wishes on the occasion of your enthronement at Canterbury Cathedral.”

The Pope’s message 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.

“I look forward to meeting you in the near future, and to continuing the warm fraternal relations that our predecessors enjoyed.”

The Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, has also sent a congratulatory message to the archbishop. The letter, dated February 4 but released today, urges the new Anglican leader to “speak the truth with love, shedding the light of Christ in darkness”.

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The full text of Pope Francis’s message:

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you” (1 Pet 1:2b)

I thank you for the kind words contained in your message to me at my election, and I wish in turn to offer my greetings and best wishes on the occasion of your Enthronement at Canterbury Cathedral.

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.

I look forward to meeting you in the near future, and to continuing the warm fraternal relations that our predecessors enjoyed.

From the Vatican, 18 March 2013

FRANCIS

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The full text of the Pope Emeritus’s message:

To the Most Reverend and Right Honourable
Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury

In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven (Col 1:3)

With these words of Saint Paul, I greet you joyfully in the name of the Lord Jesus, “whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30), and I offer you my prayerful good wishes on the occasion of your installation as Archbishop of Canterbury.

You take up your office 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. Ministers of the Gospel today have to respond to a widespread deafness to the music of faith, and a general weariness that shuns the demands of discipleship. Yet 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. May your apostolate yield a rich harvest and may it open the eyes and ears of many to the life-giving message of the Gospel.

Let us give thanks to God that the bonds of affection between Catholics and Anglicans have become firmly established in recent decades, through dialogue and collaboration, as well as personal meetings between our respective predecessors. It is greatly to be hoped that we will continue to build upon that important legacy. The disappointments that have been encountered and the challenges that remain on our journey towards full communion are well known, but there have also been signs of hope. Recognizing that our unity will arise only as a gift from the Lord, let us entrust ourselves to his Holy Spirit, as we renew our determination to seek genuine unity in faith and to engage more profoundly in common witness and mission.

With sentiments of fraternal regard, I assure you of my prayers as you take up your new responsibilities. Whatever challenges you encounter, may the Lord grant you strength and wisdom, and may the Holy Spirit guide you in all that you undertake in his name.

From the Vatican, 4 February 2013

BENEDICTUS PP XVI

  • James Moriarty

    It’s mildly amusing that both popes gave the scriptural references for their quotations. One would have supposed that the Archbishop could have identified them himself.

  • PJ

    pope benedict resigned he should not be sending messagages anywhere – what about his promise to live away from pubic life – looks like he can’t be trusted

  • Munda cor meum

    If you take time to look at the date on each message, you will see that the one from Pope Francis is for the enthronement, and the one from Pope Benedict was from the time when the appointment was announced, before he had even announced that he himself was abdicating. Looks like your ability to read can’t be trusted. I place more trust in the Emeritus Pope’s words.

  • Peter

    That’s because Protestants always do that in case you don not believe them.

  • NatOn

    So a pope as Bishop of Rome is installed – like a kitchen unit – or worse ‘inaugurated’ like a president by the augurs of today’s only sacrosanct priestly office: the media; not so a mere Archbishop of Canterbury, who is .. most properly .. elevated and enthroned.

    Yes, even schismatic and heretical oversight in Christ’s body is rightly enthroned, for such is the character of the role; and this is true whether he (or she) is elected or appointed to the Teachers Chair.

    An Enthronement then, not installation nor inauguration, remains the apt term for the Pope of Rome – or Alexandria – (only moreso, for at Rome he is a sovereign in his own right).

    Note Well: this is is timely reminder to the humble in lofty office and the grumbling humblers of others who rule over them. It is false humility, in fact a falsehood, to seek to hide away or disguise one’s call to office, rather than to empty oneself of its worldly or heavenly claims – great or lowly as they may be. And it is not Christ-like; the self-emptying of the Word made flesh did not relieve him of the chalice of suffering in an allotted office – that poison cup – in his title Lord, Son of God, Saviour, King; he did not have to vaunt his rule, only show that he did indeed rule, nor to seek out obsequious veneration, only to accept that is rightly due .. enthroned in Mary’s lap or from Moses’ Chair or the right hand of his Father.

  • Jack

    Why were the terms “installment or “inauguration” used for the Pope but the term “enthronement” used for the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury?

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Pope Francis’ enthronement at St John Lateran hasn’t happened yet.

    Possibly the Arch-Manager of Canterbury might attend that one, though his own managerial obligations prevented him being in Rome this Tuesday.

  • scary goat

    St. Thomas More, pray for us.

  • Tom Plant

    I think it was more his spiritual obligation to be on retreat only two days before his enthronement…

  • Robin

    Have you taken a look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church recently? Here’s a link to the first page:
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P1.HTM
    Note the scriptural references for each of the three lines. All the pages in the Catechism are like this, and it surely isn’t a “Protestant” document by any stretch of the imagination.
    It is a perfectly good and well-founded Catholic and Protestant tradition to provide scriptural citations in letters, books and homilies.

  • James

    I always prefer the notes, personally, so that you can go and see context and read more around the quotation. I also imagine that in letters like this (meant to be public as well) that it is even more for the public reader then it is for the private.

  • Tridentinus

    Tradition!

  • James Nesbitt SSC

    The letter was written before he retired and before his intention to resign, so the Vatican sent it as well as Pope Francis’ letter. Give His Holiness Benedict XVI a break, people like to find anything to jump down someone’s throat at.