Among the thousands of pilgrims and visitors present in St Peter’s Square for the Pope’s general audience on Wednesday was a group of Anglicans from all over the world who are taking part in a week long study course on Christian leadership.
Organised by the Anglican Centre in Rome,
the course is based on Biblical scholarship, case studies of exemplary
leaders, past and present, and field work in Rome and Assisi.
Participants from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the
United States, Nigeria and Myanmar were among those attending the
audience, while the director of the Anglican Centre, Archbishop David
Moxon and Zambian Bishop William Mchombo of the Central African province
were also able to exchange a few words with Pope Francis.
“Bishop William was delighted to be able to bring greetings from the
Anglican community in Central Africa”, Archbishop David told Vatican
Radio, adding that the Pope said how much “he values our prayers”.
The director of the Anglican Centre, whom the Pope invited to give a joint blessing at the close of Vespers
marking the end of the Christian Unity week in January, said he was
also thrilled by the enthusiastic greeting he received from the Holy
Father. Noting that he celebrated his 65th birthday on Tuesday,
Archbishop David said “it really meant a lot to me to be so warmly
embraced by him”.
The Anglican leader said it was significant for course participants
to see and hear the Pope in action at the audience. “It’s very important
for them to see how he communicates, how he inspires, how he cares. He
is one of the best role models of effective leadership for all
Christians today”, Archbishop David said.