In an interview with Pauline monthly “Jesus”, Justin Welby talks about his relationship with Francis and the great respect and the understanding that exists between them.
Their dialogue will only grow
stronger according to the Primate of the Church of England
“We need to start walking together with a deep love for one another,
accepting our respective differences. But walking means getting up and
embarking on a journey together, not waiting for all doctrinal questions
to be resolved before doing anything.”
“There are various things we are
working on together but I cannot reveal these yet as they are
confidential,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said in a long
and exhaustive interview with Italian Pauline monthly, Jesus.
Luca Attanasio’s interview was an open heart confession covering many
aspects of Welby’s relationship with Francis. What emerges is a
willingness on the part of the Church of England to move away from past
beliefs and towards unity. There are of course doctrinal stumbling
blocks that cannot be ignored and the two Churches interpret theological
and ethical issues differently.
But Welby is adamant he has found in
Francis a spiritual leader of great merciful openness who really knows
how to listen and engage in dialogue.
So much was covered during the interview: from Welby’s financial
background, to his for spiritual education and his surprise nomination
as leader of the Church of England.
Special focus was given to current
issues: women bishops “I am in favour of the ordination of women
bishops, nit just in light of modern times; I consider it to be right
from a theological and ecclesiological point of view.”
“The Synod of
Bishops is currently going through the legislative process of making the
ordination of women bishops legal,” he added.
The two Churches do agree on same-sex marriages: “The Church of
England opposes such a law and I myself have spoken out against same-sex
marriage.” Welby did however second what what Francis recently said
about homophobia, stating it is “completely unacceptable and profoundly
wrong to look down on, belittle, isolate and cast out those who have
different sexual orientations. Homophobia is a huge sin.”
Two points Welby talked about that were especially interesting was
first, the fact that his spiritual director is a Roman Catholic and
secondly, that he reads the Rule of St. Benedict at night.