From Vatican Radio:

Pope Francis met on Thursday with members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, telling them that the cause of unity is not an optional undertaking. The 18 Anglican and Catholic members of the commission, known as ARCIC III, are holding their annual encounter this week at an ancient retreat house in the Alban hills, south of Rome. Philippa Hitchen reports.

Meeting with the members of ARCIC III, Pope Francis noted the current session is studying the relationship between the universal Church and the local Church — a question central to his own reform programme — with particular reference to difficult decision making over moral and ethical questions.

These discussions, the Pope said, and the forthcoming publication of five jointly agreed statements from the previous phase of the dialogue, remind us that ecumenism is not a secondary element in the life of the Church and that the differences which divide us must not be seen as inevitable. Despite the seriousness of the challenges, he said, we must trust even more in the power of the Spirit to heal and reconcile what may not seem possible to our human understanding.

Read the rest, including the full text of the papal address.

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