On Sunday, October 13, 2019, Pope Francis greeted the Anglican delegation present at the Mass of Canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman, in St. Peter’s Square, and especially the new Anglican Bishop present in Rome. He also met with Prince Charles.
The “Spiritual and Social Growth” of Nations
“I address a special thought to the delegates of the Anglican Communion, with profound gratitude for their presence and I also welcome you, dear Brother, the new <Anglican> Bishop here in Rome,” said Pope Francis in Italian before the Angelus.
The Holy Father also greeted Italian President Sergio Mattarella and the Prince of Wales: “I greet the official delegations of various countries, in particular, the President of the Italian Republic and His Highness the Prince of Wales. In fact, with their evangelical witness, these Saints fostered spiritual and social growth in their respective countries.”
The Pontiff greeted the Spiritual Families of the new Saints. “Before concluding this Eucharistic celebration, I wish to greet and thank you all. I thank the Brother Cardinals and Bishops, as well as the priests, the religious and men of the whole world, in particular, those that belong to the Spiritual Families of the new Saints. I greet all the lay faithful that are gathered here.”
A Bishop of Mauritius
The Pope greeted people that followed the celebration on different media and, in particular, the Poles. “I greet you all, dear pilgrims, as well as those that followed this Mass on radio and television. A particular greeting goes to the faithful of Poland, who celebrate today the Day of the Pope. I thank them for their prayers and their constant affection.”
Archbishop Ian Ernest, of Mauritius and former Primate of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean, became the personal representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Center in Rome. He took up his functions this month of October, after Pope Francis’ visit to Mauritius.
We recall that Cardinal Newman was an Anglican before embracing the Catholic faith, but he never ceased to be esteemed and loved by the Anglicans, as witnessed in Prince Charles’ editorial published by L’Osservatore Romano on October 12.
For Prince Charles, heir to the throne and, as such, future head of the Anglican Church, Cardinal John Henry Newman’s canonization constitutes “a reason for joy for all those that cherish the spiritual values that inspired” him.
In the text on “the harmony of difference, the Prince heir hails the “ecumenical” dimension of the work and action of Cardinal Newman and he also wrote about its “catholic” dimension. “His faith was truly catholic, in the sense that he embraced all aspects of life. It’s in this same spirit that we, Catholics or not, can in the tradition of the Christian Church through the ages, embrace the unique perspective, the particular wisdom and perspicacity contributed to our universal experience by this single individual soul. We can be inspired by his writings and his life even if we recognize that, as all human life, it was inevitably imperfect. Newman himself was conscious of his faults, such as pride and a defensive attitude that did not correspond to his own ideals but that, in the end, made him all the more grateful for God’s mercy.”