In a significant ecumenical gesture, the Holy See has donated fragments of the Relic of the True Cross to Charles III, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, on the occasion of the centenary of the Anglican Church in Wales.
The confirmation came from the director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, during a press conference held on Thursday, 20th April. He said that “fragments of the Relic of the True Cross were donated by the Holy See in early April, through the Apostolic Nunciature, to His Majesty King Charles III, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, as an ecumenical gesture on the occasion of the centenary of the Anglican Church in Wales.”
The gesture is particularly noteworthy, as it is a gift of two small wooden pieces of the cross in which according to the Christian doctrine, Jesus Christ was crucified. The significant gift was preserved in Vatican, and recently delivered to Royal Chapel of St. James in London.
The news was made public by the British Broadcasting Corporation, and confirmed by the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Christopher Trott, in a Twitter post that reads: “We are deeply moved and grateful to Pope Francis for this extraordinary gift. Reflecting the strength of the relationship that developed over the course of the reign of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who met 5 Popes!
We are deeply moved and grateful to Pope Francis for this extraordinary gift. Reflecting the strength of the 🇻🇦 🇬🇧 relationship that developed over the course of the reign of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who met 5 Popes! https://t.co/uHYyppOHCF @UKinHolySee
— Chris Trott (@ChrisTrott) April 19, 2023
The True Cross is one of the most significant relics in the Christian tradition, believed to be a fragment of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. It is an object of veneration and devotion for Christians around the world.
The act is also likely to be welcomed by the wider Christian community, who have long called for greater unity and cooperation between the various Christian traditions. It is hoped that this gesture will serve as a catalyst for further dialogue and cooperation between the Catholic and Anglican Churches, and between Christians of all denominations.
The donation of the Relic of the True Cross by the Holy See to King Charles III of England is a significant gesture of ecumenical friendship and goodwill. It underscores the continued efforts of the Catholic Church to promote Christian unity and reconciliation with other Christian traditions.