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Church of England
Cottrell and Pope.jpg
Church of England
UK News

Archbishop of York meets Pope at the Vatican

by Sophie Drew

The Archbishop of York has travelled to the Vatican to meet with the Pope in a bid to promote unity between Christians.

His visit includes meetings with various departments of the Vatican connected with evangelisation and ecumenism.

On Monday, Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, accompanied by Mrs Rebecca Cottrell and his chaplain, Rev Dr Jenny Wright, shared an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis. 

He also be meeting with representatives from the Dicastery for Evangelisation, the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

Ahead of the trip, Archbishop Stephen expressed his hope that Christians of all denominations could work together more closely and unite in their desire to share God's love.

He said: “Coming to Rome and meeting with sisters and brothers from within the Roman Catholic Church has been so encouraging. My prayer is that Christians of all denominations can work together more and be united in our desire to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit as we look to share the love of God as seen in Jesus with the many in our world who long for hope and meaning in their lives. 

“It is my experience that it is when we, the Church of Jesus Christ in all its manifold shapes and sizes, reach out together in mission, in service of the world and in proclamation of the gospel, that our unity is strengthened and revealed.” 

He added that when churches "reach out together in mission, in service of the world and in proclamation of the gospel," unity is strengthened and revealed.

The visit has been organised by Archbishop Ian Ernest, Director of the Anglican Centre and the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See. 

Archbishop Ian Ernest said: “This first official visit of the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, to the Anglican Centre and to the Holy See comes as an affirmation of the longing of the Anglican Communion to diligently and constantly work for the visible unity of Christians.

"The personal commitment of Archbishop Stephen, in the different callings he has exercised, to encourage a collaborative spirit amongst different groups of people, in spite of cultural, denominational and religious differences, inspires and encourages us to carry forward with love the mission entrusted to the Anglican Centre in Rome.

“His meeting with The Holy Father, Pope Francis has further consolidated the strong bonds of friendship between our two World Communions and we are now looking forward for further cooperation between the Dicasteries of the Vatican and the Anglican Centre in Rome as we seek to bear witness of the Love of God, together, to our broken world.”

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