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Archbishop of Birmingham presents Pope Francis with an icon of St Thomas of Canterbury – a witness to persecuted Christians

05/05/2015 4:00 pm

Archbishop Longley meets Pope Francis

 
At a meeting between Pope Francis and members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) on Thursday, the Catholic Co-Chair of ARCIC III, Archbishop Bernard Longley, presented the Holy Father with an icon of St Thomas of Canterbury.

The Saint’s “self-sacrificing love of Christ is honoured and commemorated in both our traditions,” the Archbishop said. “His witness reminds us of all those, from many different Christian traditions, who continue to suffer for Christ today. May their "ecumenism of blood" bear fruit for the peace of the world.” 

Archbishop Bernard Longley’s address:

'Holy Father: as Co-Chairmen and Members of the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission we are grateful to Your Holiness for receiving us today in the course of our meeting at the Villa Palazzola in the Alban Hills.We are responding to the mandate we have received from the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church to consider the communion of the Church, local and universal, and her discernment of right ethical teaching.

We have been encouraged in this task by the joint witness to Christ offered by yourself, Holy Father, alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Justin Welby - and especially by your common commitment to seek justice for those who suffer exploitation or neglect.
 
We are pleased to offer Your Holiness an icon of St Thomas of Canterbury. His self-sacrificing love of Christ is honoured and commemorated in both our traditions, and his witness reminds us of all those, from many different Christian traditions, who continue to suffer for Christ today. May their "ecumenism of blood" bear fruit for the peace of the world.'

Related

Full story from Vatican Radio which includes Pope Francis’ Address to the Commission:
en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/04/30/pope_meets_members_of_anglican-roman_catholic_commission/1140721