Message of Pope Francis for inauguration of Community at the Crossing

13 Sep 2022

On 8 September 2022, the ecumenical Community at the Crossing was inaugurated during an evensong service at the Episcopal Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York. The new community is modelled on the Community of St Anselm established in 2015 at Lambeth Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. It currently comprises three members of the Chemin Neuf community, two Catholics and one Anglican.

The community welcomes young people from all Christian traditions to spend a year together, studying the great spiritual traditions and joining the daily rhythm of prayer at the cathedral, as well as making a commitment to daily personal prayer and to serving the poor in the city.

In a video message to participants attending the inauguration, Archbishop Welby explained the impact that the Community of St Anselm had made to Lambeth Palace, making it a “a house of prayer” and making visible the unity of Christian peoples.

The Holy Father also sent a video message (scroll below) reflecting on the meaning of “crossing” as a place of encounter, expressing his hope that “this community will offer an opportunity to revive the desire for unity of Christians … The future of faith in our world passes through Christian Unity. Yes, we do not agree on everything. Yes, we have convictions that sometimes seem incompatible, or are incompatible. But that is precisely why we choose to love each other. Love is stronger than all disagreements and divisions.” In Jesus Christ, the Pope explained, Christians share “a bond that is stronger and deeper than our cultures, our political options and even than our doctrines.” Concluding his remarks, the Pope also thanked the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity for its support and encouragement.

A message from His All Holiness Bartholomew was also read, in which the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed his hope that the Community would “become a door for the young men and women that it will shape … a door to the compassionate nature of God and a door to the communal nature of the Church.”

Father Anthony Currer, staff member responsible for relations with Anglicans, represented the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity at the inauguration.