Prayer, peace, and poverty

One is an Argentine son of Italian immigrants, the other an Old Etonian whose mother worked for Sir Winston Churchill.

Yet despite coming from opposite ends of the earth – both literally and metaphorically – Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury have some uncanny similarities.

The two leaders of Christianity’s largest global communions were both considered outsiders when chosen for their roles, both took up their positions within a week of each other and both are renowned for their no-nonsense, down-to-earth style.

If their immediate predecessors, Benedict XVI and Lord Williams of Oystermouth, had a love of the early Church Fathers in common, with Lord Williams able to read Benedict’s theology in the original German, Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby have decided to roll up their sleeves and put the Gospel into action.

During his two-day visit to Rome on Sunday and Monday, the archbishop’s jam-packed itinerary certainly chimed with Pope Francis’ call for pastors to be familiar with the “smell of the sheep”.

This included going to a street shelter project run by the community of Sant’Egidio, meeting a victim of human trafficking and a trip to a refugee project at the Anglican church, St Paul’s-Within-the-Walls. Continue reading.

Source: The Tablet

Image: The Times/EPA

News category: Features.

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