Primates of the Anglican Communion meet in Rome

7 May 2024

The 23rd Primates’ Meeting of the Anglican Communion took place in Rome from 29 April to 3 May 2024. The Primates’ Meeting, one of the four Anglican ‘Instruments of Communion’, meets every two years, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The senior archbishop or presiding bishop of each member church of the Anglican Communion is entitled to attend. This was the first time that the meeting took place in Rome.

The meeting, hosted by the Anglican Centre in Rome, was shaped by pilgrimage at the threshold of the apostles. On Monday 29 April, the bishops visited the Abbey of Tre Fontane, the site of St Paul’s martyrdom, and the Basilica of St Paul outside the Walls, the site of his tomb. They were welcomed by the Cardinal Archpriest, Cardinal James Harvey, and joined the monastic community for Vespers, presided by the Abbot. On Tuesday 30 April, the Primates visited the Community of Sant’ Egidio, to learn about some of the community’s projects before joining members for prayer in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. On Wednesday 1 May, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Mario Grech, joined the meeting for a presentation and discussion on the practice of synodality.

On Thursday 2 May, Pope Francis received the participants in the Primates’ Meeting in private audience. In his address, Pope Francis gave thanks for the work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) over the past fifty years. He also underlined the importance of Christians bearing witness to Christ together, despite their differences. ‘It would be a scandal if, due to our divisions, we did not fulfil our common vocation to make Christ known. If, on the other hand, beyond our respective visions, we are able to bear witness to Christ with humility and love, he will be the one to bring us closer to one another.’ Following his address, the Holy Father responded informally to comments and questions from many of the Anglican Primates present.



Photos © Vatican Media