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In fidelity to the Gospel

· For the Enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of the Anglican Communion ·

Today, 21 March, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, Primate of the Anglican Communion, presided at his Enthronement. Numerous Catholic bishops were present including Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster. At the ceremony Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, with Mons. Mark Langham, an official in the dicastery, delivered Archbishop Welby a message written by Benedict XVI on 4 February, the day of his election, and a letter writtenby Pope Francis on 18 March  for the Enthronement.  The following are the English texts of both Messages.

To the Most Reverend and Right Honourable

Justin Welby

Archbishop of Canterbury

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


Responding to the desire of God

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)

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.

Benedictus PP XVI




St. Peter’s Square

Feb. 20, 2020