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Perspectives Daily - Pope Francis Meets Archbishop of Canterbury

Stefan Slovak

June 16, 2014
Yesterday on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, His Holiness Pope Francis delivered his weekly Angelus address. Speaking from the Apostolic Palace high above St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father reflected on the Holy Trinity. He said that at its heart it was based on love, however he also called it a model for the Church, “in which we are called to love one another as Jesus has loved us.” He later drew parallels between this week’s feast and that which is celebrated next Sunday, Corpus Christi. The Pope said, “The Eucharist is like the ‘burning bush’ in which the Trinity humbly dwells and communicates itself.” He also invited Romans and pilgrims alike to join him next Sunday at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran for mass and then to continue with him in a Eucharistic procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. He asked people to come to express their “desire to be a people ‘gathered in the unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Later Sunday, Pope Francis journeyed to visit the community of Sant’ Egidio in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. The community which numbers 60,000 and is active in some 73 countries around the world, focuses on scripture-based prayer, service to the poor, commitment to ecumenism and dialogue with members of other faiths. As the Holy Father arrived, he took time to meet and greet the huge numver of people that had come to see him. As he waded through the crowds, he even took time to bless a pregnant woman’s unborn child. After arriving inside Sant’ Egidio Church, the community’s birthplace and namesake, Pope Francis heard a series of testimonials from the elderly, the unemployed and the disabled. He then told the assembly that “A people that does care for its elder members, one that does not take care of its young people, is a people without a future.” He then lamented what he has often referred to as a global throw-away culture. “Just think of the birth rate in Europe: in Italy, Spain, France – and the elderly, [too], are thrown away, with attitudes behind which there hides a form of euthanasia. [The elderly] are no longer useful – and that which is not useful is tossed aside,” he said. He concluded by saying that “Europe is tired. We have to help Europe rejuvenate, to find its roots. It is true: Europe has disowned its roots – and we must help Europe to rediscover those roots.”
Today, Pope Francis welcomed the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to the Apostolic Palace. On the second day of the Archbishop’s visit to the Eternal City, the Holy Father said he hoped their meeting would strengthen further their bonds of friendship and their commitment to the great cause of reconciliation and communion between Christian believers.” Drawing on the gospel where the disciples are ashamed upon Jesus asking them what they are fighting about, Pope Francis said we too feel ashamed when we “ponder the distance between the Lord’s call and our meager response.” “The goal of full unity may seem distant,” he said, “yet it remains the aim that should direct our every step along the way.” After their meeting the two men exchanged gifts together, following which they took time to go into an adjacent chapel and pray together before going their separate ways.
It was announced Saturday, that Pope Francis has appointed His Excellency Bishop Gary Gordon as the new bishop of the Diocese of Victoria. At the time of his appointment Bishop Gordon was the bishop of the Diocese of Whitehorse in the Yukon. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Vancouver in 1982, he was ordained a bishop in 2006 when he began his episcopal ministry in Canada’s north. His new diocese of Victoria which is centered in British Columbia’s capital, has a Catholic population of 94,465, served by 22 diocesan priests, 17 priests who are members of religious communities, two Brothers and 61 Sisters who are also members of religious communities.