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Clerics pledge ecumenical action

Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury have declared they would work together to help the poor and protect the environment despite their unity being blocked by differences over women priests and gay marriage, reports Reuters.

Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby made the pledge last week in a joint statement at a vespers in Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of theological dialogue between the two Churches in 1966.

“While, like our predecessors, we ourselves do not yet see solutions to the obstacles before us, we are undeterred,” the joint statement said, specifically mentioning the ordination of women and “more recent questions regarding human sexuality.”

Last January the Anglican Church slapped sanctions on its liberal US branch for supporting same-sex marriage, a move that averted a formal schism in the world’s third-largest Christian denomination but left deep divisions unresolved.

In their joint declaration, the Pope and Archbishop Welby said their two Churches could do much together despite “the imperfect union we already share.”

“We can, and must, work together to protect and preserve our common home: Living, teaching and acting in ways that favour a speedy end to the environmental destruction that offends the Creator and degrades his creatures,” the joint declaration said.

They vowed to fight “a culture of waste” where the most vulnerable of people in society are marginalised and discarded and to work together to work for peace and bring education, healthcare, food, clean water, and shelter to the poor.

Photo: Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in San Gregorio al Celio in Rome yesterday (Reuters)

FULL COVERAGE Pope, Anglican leader, vow joint action on poverty and environment (Reuters/Swiss Info)

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