Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi installed 

Inauguration blessing

On Thursday 26 October, the Archbishop of Canterbury came to Rome and inaugurated the ministry of Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, commissioning him as his Personal Representative to the Holy See.

The service of Evensong reflected the shared traditions of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, with music by William Byrd (a Catholic composer at the court of Elizabeth I), Henry Purcell (whose identity as either a Roman Catholic or an Anglican remains undetermined), and Blessed John Henry Newman (whose conversion, while controversial at the time, has helped draw the two Communions together). The ecumenical and international scope of the ministry of Archbishop Bernard, the first Francophone Director of the Anglican Centre was honoured with music from Burundi, a reading in French and the blessing, which came from le Livre du Prières Publiques, a French translation of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

Inauguration choir

The preacher was the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, an old friend of Bernard and Mathilde from his time as Apostolic Nuncio in Burundo. His sermon was pitch-perfect

“Some have tended to see ecumenical endeavor as a question of church, or as an internal Christian affair in which our unity will be good for the growth or even survival of Christ’s church. Given all we face today, given the urgency and precariousness of our situation I would argue rather that ecumenical engagement is a moral imperative for all of us who are baptized in the name of the Blessed Trinity. We must proceed together as the one Body of Christ, not because it will be nice or cozy to do so but because we have to in response to the pressing needs of humanity.” 

Inauguration Gallagher

The following day, Archbishop Justin introduced Archbishop Bernard to Pope Francis at a private audience, before the two Anglican archbishops and their wives joined the Pope for lunch at the Casa Santa Martha. This is the second time the Archbishop of Canterbury has lunched with the Pope and was “amusing, full of humour, full of profound discussion”  and enabled them to discuss their plans, hopes, and concerns in much greater detail than a normal audience would permit.

Inauguration BN PopeInauguration ABC Pope


Staff Member, 02/11/2017