While its primary purpose is to allow the two leaders to get to know each other, he noted that they share the same concerns about poverty and the global economic crisis.
“They will find they have much in common in their view of how religion and the church must act to change society, and especially to raise up the dignity of the poor and the marginalized,” Langham said.
On the issue of an “economy for the people,” they have “many ideas in common,” said Archbishop David Moxon, the Anglican representative in Rome.
Both men stand in stark contrast to their bookish predecessors. Welby worked as an oil executive before becoming a priest and bishop as a second career, while Francis rode public transportation and lived among the poor as archbishop of Buenos Aires.
With new leadership on both sides, the relationship between Anglicans and Catholics could be primed for a reset after several years of tension following Pope Benedict XVI’s controversial initiative to woo back disgruntled Anglicans
For year, the Catholic Church has been critical of the Anglicans’ decision to ordain women priests in the Church of England, and is unhappy over steps to allow women bishops.
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