Rome (Fides Service) – The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is also president of the Anglican Communion, will arrive in Rome today, 2 October for an official visit to Pope John Paul II. The Archbishop will met at Rome airport by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Unity among Christians, Secretary of the Council, Bishop Brian Farrell and the new director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Anglican Bishop John Flack and the British Ambassador to the Holy See Mrs Kathryn Frances Colvin.
A press statement issued by the Pontifical Council says that at the beginning of his mandate as Archbishop of Canterbury and President of the Anglican Communion, Dr Williams wished to make this to visit to the Pope. His predecessor, Dr George Carey who made his first official visit in 1996, came to Rome last year at the end of his mandate to take leave of Pope John Paul II. These visits are a clear indication of the mutual desire of the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church to continue to work together to reach full communion.
The programme of the visit includes on 3 October, meetings with Cardinal Kasper President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Unity among Christians, and British born Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; a debate at the Anglican Centre with the participation of various speakers. On 4 October, a visit and moment of prayer in St Peter’s Basilica before the private audience with the Holy Father. In the afternoon celebration of Vespers in the church of St Maria sopra Minerva, the titular Church of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Catholic, followed by the official installation of the Rector of the Anglican Centre, Bishop John Flack.
On Sunday 5 October: celebration of the Eucharist at All Saints Anglican Church presided by the Archbishop who will depart from Rome that evening. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor will arrive in Rome on 3 October to take part in the visit and accompany the Archbishop of Canterbury. SL (Fides Service 2/10/2003 EM lines 27 Words: 363)