Today was our last full working day. Half of the morning was dedicated to an "ecumenical gathering" as we do every year at our "January meeting". Led by Bishop Graham Rose (bishop of the Diocese of Dundee) and following the example of Pope Francis last year, we welcomed a delegation from the "Ark community" (http://thearkcommunity.org/who-we-are/) and from "The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa" (TEASA) (http://www.teasa.org.za/)
Sr Marie Andre lead us in prayer reading from John 17: 20 - 23. "I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me. May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me.
Luciano Caoli from the Ark Community spoke about Bishop Tony Palmer who died last year. Bp Palmer came to know Jorge Bergoglio while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. When he became archbishop of Rome and Pope Francis, bishop Palmer believed it would be difficult to meet again but he was then surprised by a call from Pope Francis asking him when he would be going to Rome.
Meeting in Rome, bishop Palmer asked Pope Francis to record a video for the evangelical community. It can be seen as part of the video below.
The sharing was very positive and more coming together like this or at local level were seen as a possible way forward. When we trust each other, we are more ready to listen to each other and to understand each other.