ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Dear Bishop Hollis,
I am pleased that during the course of your visit to Rome I can welcome you to the Vatican, and so give expression to the faith and charity which unite the Diocese of Portsmouth with this Apostolic See. In greeting you I extend my prayerful best wishes to all the priests, religious and laity of your Diocese.
We have just celebrated the feastday of Saint Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, that champion of the faith who, in the few years of his activity, planted the Church firmly and deeply in England’s ready soil. It was the saintly Pope Gregory the Great who sent him to evangelize what was then a distant and seemingly inhospitable corner of the known world. Despite the tests and trials of history, the bonds of union with the See of Peter were never altogether broken, and we must now intensify our prayer for the progress of ecumenical understanding and cooperation, so that all Christ’s disciples can once more come together in the visible unity of the one Body.
Commending you all to the intercession of our Lady of Walsingham and of Saint Edmund of Abingdon, and invoking Almighty God’s loving protection upon you and your families, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing.
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