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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop - 'friendly meeting' with Pope Benedict

Archbishop of Canterbury with Pope Benedict XVI

Tuesday 6th May 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has described his private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI yesterday in the Vatican as 'friendly and informal'. They spent almost half an hour in the Pope's study discussing matters of common interest.

Afterwards Dr Williams said he had valued the encounter:

"It was a friendly and informal meeting in which we discussed a number of ecumenical issues, some of the Pope's impressions from his American visit and common issues in Christian Muslim dialogue."

This latest meeting was the second private encounter between the two leaders; during Dr Williams visit to the Vatican in 2006 His Holiness hosted a private lunch for the Archbishop, following a formal audience and worship.

Dr Williams is in Rome to convene the 7th Building Bridges Seminar; a gathering of Christian and Muslim scholars, and to a service marking the inauguration of the Revd David Richardson's ministry as Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and as the Archbishop's Representative to the Holy See.

Dr Williams told Vatican Radio that the work of the Centre had been instrumental in maintaining strong links between the two churches:

"... partly because of the work of the previous couple of directors, especially Bishop John Flack, tremendously deep foundations have been laid of personal trust and confidence; and in terms of ease of access and honesty of discussion, I think we're in a very good phase of that relationship and I'm absolutely confident that the new director will be building on that".

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