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Remembering the common roots of the Christianity they share, Roman Catholics and Anglicans should renew their commitments to praying and working for Christian unity, Pope Benedict XVI said. The pope and Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, who will be stepping down as the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion by the end of the year, held an evening prayer service on March 10 at Rome’s Church of St. Gregory on the Caelian Hill, the church from which Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine of Canterbury to evangelize England in 597. “We hope that the sign of our presence here together in front of the holy altar where Gregory himself celebrated the Eucharistic sacrifice, will remain not only as a reminder of our fraternal encounter, but also as a stimulus for all the faithful—both Catholic and Anglican...to renew their commitment to pray constantly and to work for unity, and to live fully in accordance with the ‘ut unum sint’ [‘that all may be one’] that Jesus addressed to the Father,” Pope Benedict said.

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