The Holy Father rarely dabbles in the affairs of other countries. But he couldn’t pass this up.
That’s why Pope Francis blindsided a leading lawmaker with this shocking act.
As the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis wields an mind-boggling amount of power.
Sure, the Vatican City State is the size of a postage stamp, but with 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide, he certainly has a sway on the global conversation.
And in a shocking act of ecumenism, Pope Francis just extended an olive branch to the King of England.
Pope Francis has presented two wooden relics thought to be from the cross used to crucify Jesus Christ to King Charles, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
According to The Telegraph, the relics were a “personal gift” from the Pope to the monarch.
The two relics have been placed in a silver cross at the request of King Charles, according to reports in the British press, and will lead the procession at the King’s coronation on May 6 in Westminster Abbey in London.
The delivery of these relics to King Charles by Pope Francis was initially announced in the British press on April 18.
According to an article published on April 19 by the Telegraph of London:
“The Pope has given the King two fragments from the True Cross—said to have been used in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ—to mark his coronation.
“The relic, described as a ‘personal gift’ from Pope Francis to His Majesty, was formally presented to the Royal Household by Vatican representatives at the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace last week.
“In what was hailed a ‘significant ecumenical gesture,’ the King requested that the shards be incorporated into a new processional cross that he commissioned for the Church in Wales to celebrate its centenary before becoming monarch.
“Both fragments are shaped as crosses, one measuring 1 cm and the other 5mm. They have now been set into the large silver cross behind a rose crystal gemstone.
“On the day of his Coronation, the cross will be sued to lead the process into Westminster Abbey, a decision said to reflect the King’s ‘deep and long-standing affection for Wales.”
The Cross of Wales is a ceremonial cross that presently houses remnants from the crucifixion that was used to crucify Jesus Christ.
The Independent reported this morning:
“The Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, blessed the Cross of Wales at a church service on Wednesday morning, ahead of it being brought to London to be carried before the King at the head of the coronation procession next month. …
“The Cross of Wales was a gift from the King to the Church in Wales to celebrate its centenary and upon its return to Wales after the coronation, the cross will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic churches in Wales.”
Anglican Archbishop Andrew and Catholic Archbishop Mark O’Toole of Cardiff both expressed gratitude for the cross and its relics.
According to the Independent:
“Archbishop Andrew said: ‘We are honoured that His Majesty has chosen to mark our centenary with a cross that is both beautiful and symbolic. Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources and our commitment to sustainability. We are delighted too that its first use will be to guide Their Majesties into Westminster Abbey at the coronation service.”
The Independent also reported that Roman Catholic Archbishop O’Toole said: “With a deep sense of joy we embrace this cross, kindly given by King Charles, and containing a relic of the True Cross, generously gifted by the Holy See. It is not only a sign of the deep Christian roots of our nation but will, I am sure, encourage us all to model our lives on the love given by our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We look forward to honouring it, not only in the various celebrations that are planned, but also in the dignified setting in which it will find a permanent home.”
As the head of the Church of England, Pope Francis’ gift is a profound gesture of friendship.
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