Pope Francis told the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, that the Catholic Church andChurch of Scotland enjoy a relationship of “mutual understanding, trust and cooperation.”
The two men met for the first time at the Vatican in Rome on Thursday, during the year that marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Dr Browning presented the Pope with a Church of Scotland Guild tartan scarf, a basket of Scottish produce and a special edition of a book about the history of St Columba and Iona Abbey.
Addressing the Moderator, Pope Francis said: “Let us thank the Lord for the great gift of being able to live this year in true fraternity, no longer as adversaries, after long centuries of estrangement and conflict.
“This has been possible, with God’s grace, by the ecumenical journey that has enabled us to grow in mutual understanding, trust and cooperation.
“The mutual purification of memory is one of the most significant fruits of this common journey.
“The past cannot be changed, yet today we at last see one another as God sees us.”
Pope Francis, who also received Rev Dr George Whyte, principal clerk to the General Assembly, Rev Dr John McPake, the Church’s ecumenical officer and the Moderator’s chaplain, Anne Mulligan DCS, said all Christians were brothers and sisters.
Dr Browning told the Pope that the Church of Scotland wanted both denominations to work together for the…
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