Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is asking all Anglicans to join in prayer this Sunday to thank God for the life of Pope John Paul II. In a statement, the Canadian Primate spoke of the late Pope’s “many gifts” and asked church member to also pray for the Roman Catholic church at this time of transition. The full text of Archbishop Hutchison’s statement follows:
On behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada I want to extend our prayers and sympathy to our brothers and sisters of the Roman Catholic Church on the death of Pope John Paul II. His three visits to Canada were marked with great enthusiasm and love and we have fond memories of his, whether greeting people from his Popemobile, speaking to First Nations people in Fort Simpson, NWT, or at the wonderful gathering of young people in Toronto in 2002.There are many gifts of Christian leadership that I personally much admired in him. He made himself accessible to people and communicated the gospel not only in words but also by action. His passion for human rights was demonstrated so forcefully in his support of Solidarity in his native Poland, and with dramatic effect on the rest of Eastern Europe. John Paul also played a remarkable role in the reconciliation of Catholic and Jews. His visit to Israel in 2000 was a visible expression of the transformation of Catholic attitudes towards the Jewish community.
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) established in the wake of Vatican II has continues to inspire dialogue between our two churches at every level under John Paul.s leadership. We will honor his memory in continuing to do all that we can to work towards the visible unity of our churches.
At this sad time, I ask everyone in all our churches this Sunday to remember John Paul and the Roman Catholic Church in their prayers. I join with all Christians in thanking God for his life and witness and I rejoice that he is now experiencing the joy of the resurrection in the in the kingdom of heaven.
Most Rev. Andrew S. Hutchison
Archbishop and Primate
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