VATICAN CITY, OCT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is preparing to welcome the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who is scheduled to visit the Pope this Saturday.
Public and private meetings are being planned in Rome with the leader of the Anglican Communion, according to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, presided over by Cardinal Walter Kasper.
This is the new archbishop of Canterbury’s first visit to the Pope, and it reflects the “desire of the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church to continue to work together toward the goal of full communion,” the pontifical council said in a statement today.
Dr. Williams will arrive in Rome on Thursday night, and will be met at the airport by Cardinal Kasper and Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the pontifical council.
The next day, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Catholic archbishop of Westminster, will also arrive in Rome to accompany the Anglican leader during his visit, the Vatican press office said.
During his stay, Dr. Williams will reside at the English College, which houses British priests and seminarians studying in Rome.
The British guest will spend Friday morning in conversations with Cardinal Kasper and his aides, as well as with Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
On Friday afternoon, a round-table discussion will be held at the Anglican Center in Rome, which will be attended by Catholic representatives.
Saturday morning, the Anglican leader will pray in St. Peter’s Basilica and at 11 a.m. he will be received in audience by John Paul II.
In the afternoon, Dr. Williams will hold a press conference at the English College. Afterward, he will pray vespers at the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Later, he will attend the ceremony to install Anglican Bishop John Flack as the new director of the Anglican Center in Rome.
On Sunday, after participating in the liturgy and meeting with the community of All Saints’ Anglican Church in Rome, Dr. Williams will return to London.