Cardinal Koch Congratulates New Archbishop of Canterbury

Rt. Reverend Justin Welby Chosen as Head of Anglican Communion

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By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, Nov. 12, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, relayed Pope Benedict XVI's best wishes to the Rt. Reverend Justin Welby, Anglican Bishop of Durham, upon being named Archbishop of Canterbury and Spiritual Leader of the Anglican Communion.

Citing the importance of the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, Cardinal Koch stated in the message that such a relationship is essential to the ecumenical call expressed by Christ in the Last Supper: "That all may be one." The cardinal also recalled the discussions that have occurred between the two faiths in order to seek "a deeper understanding of the great heritage shared by Anglicans and Catholics.

"Relations between succeeding Popes and Archbishops of Canterbury have been marked by numerous meetings which have expressed intense spiritual and human friendship, and a shared concern for our Gospel witness and service to the human family," Cardinal Koch said.

Concluding his letter to Bishop Welby, Cardinal Koch expressed his confidence that under Bishop Welby's leadership, relations between Anglicans and Catholics would continue to foster the "common commitment to the cause of Christian Unity."

"Please accept the assurance of my earnest prayers for you and your family as you prepare for a new phase in your dedicated service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," the message concluded.