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Archbishop of Canterbury to meet Pope Francis

By on Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby will visit Rome later this month (Photo: PA)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby will visit Rome later this month (Photo: PA)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, will meet Pope Francis on Friday, June 14, the Vatican has confirmed.

The archbishop’s visit, which is being described as “brief” and “informal”, will include a time of common prayer and lunch at the Pope’s residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

It will be the first encounter between the two men, who began their respective ministries within days of each other in March. Francis’s inaugural Mass took place on March 19 and Archbishop Welby was enthroned on March 21.

Archbishop Welby congratulated the Pope upon his election, but was unable to attend the inauguration because he was preparing for his enthronement at Canterbury.

Pope Francis sent a cordial reply to the archbishop’s message. He said: “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.”