[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 option 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.
The original Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission was founded in the wake of a historic meeting in 1966 between a Pope and an Archbishop of Canterbury - the first since the Reformation and the Church of England’s breakaway from Rome. On that occasion, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey inaugurated a dialogue “founded on the Gospels and on the ancient common traditions” which they hoped would lead to “unity in truth for which Christ prayed”.
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.