Prayers for new Pope
The Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney, the President of the Uniting Church in Australia, has extended warm ecumenical greetings to Catholics at the election of Pope Francis.
“On behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia I welcome the election of Pope Francis. I pray that God blesses him and the Catholic Church throughout the world in this important ministry,” said Professor Dutney.
“I gladly reaffirm the friendship of our churches in Australia and our shared commitment to work here for the justice and peace promised in the resurrection of Christ.”
Maureen Postma, Acting Secretary of the Uniting Church’s Christian Unity Working Group, said, “Together with our Catholic brothers and sisters we welcome the news of the election of the new pontiff.”
The Christian Unity Working Group conducts dialogues between the Uniting Church and other churches, including the Catholic Church.
Ms Postma said, “The Uniting Church in Australia has long been in dialogue with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and we have valued their commitment to both the dialogue and wider conversations with other churches through their commitment to the ecumenical movement.
“We pray for Pope Francis I as he moves into this new area of ministry.”
The Uniting Church has maintained inter-church dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church since 1978, initially based in Melbourne but more recently in Brisbane.
“The Uniting Church members of the Roman Catholic/Uniting Church Dialogue wish their colleagues in the Catholic Church God’s blessing as they welcome their new Pope,” said Dialogue co-chair the Rev. Bruce Johnson.
“The worldwide interest in this historic event will provide fresh perspectives to our conversations about the way we engage with the wider society in proclaiming the faith of the Church.”