In his greeting, Innes thanked Pope Francis for his "global leadership, and for the particular inspiration you have been to those of us in the Anglican Communion," particularly when it comes to the issues of the poor, migrants, refugees, and human trafficking.
"Within Europe and our diocese, you have challenged members of the European Union to rediscover their Christian heritage and values. Your published work speaks far beyond Rome in addressing difficult ethical issues that face us all," he said.
Innes voiced his hope and prayer that the Pope's visit would be "one more small step in further strengthening the unity between our churches and in celebrating the deep bonds of Anglican Roman Catholic friendship that we already enjoy."
After singing Evensong, Pope Francis gave a homily, during which he noted that "a great deal has changed" both in Rome and in the world since the parish's founding 200 years ago.
"In the course of these two centuries, much has also changed between Anglicans and Catholics," he said, noting that while in the past the Churches viewed each other "with suspicion and hostility," today we recognize one another as we truly are: brothers and sisters in Christ, through our common baptism."
Francis pointed to the icon he blessed, noting that when looking at it, Jesus "to call out to us, to make an appeal to us: 'Are you ready to leave everything from your past for me? Do you want to make my love known, my mercy?'"
"His gaze of divine mercy is the source of the whole Christian ministry," the Pope said, and turned to the ministry of St. Paul, particularly in the community of Corinth.
As the Apostle's letters show, he "did not always have an easy relationship" with the community in Corinth, the Pope said, noting that at one point there was even "a painful visit" during which "heated words" were exchanged in writing.
But by living his ministry in light of the mercy that he's received, St. Paul "does not give up in the face of divisions, but devotes himself to reconciliation," Francis observed, explaining that Christians of different confessions must have the same attitude.
"When we, the community of baptized Christians, find ourselves confronted with disagreements and turn towards the merciful face of Christ to overcome it, it is reassuring to know that we are doing as Saint Paul did in one of the very first Christian communities," he said.
The Pope then noted how at perhaps the most difficult moment St. Paul had with the community in Corinth, the Apostle cancelled a trip he was planning to make, and renounced the gifts he would have received.
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However, while there were certainly tensions in their relationship, "these did not have the final word," Francis said, explaining that the two communities eventually reconciled and the Christians in Corinth eventually helped St. Paul in his ministry to the poor and needy.
"Solid communion grows and is built up when people work together for those in need," he said, adding that "through a united witness to charity, the merciful face of Jesus is made visible in our city."
Pope Francis then voiced his gratitude that after "centuries of mutual mistrust," Catholics and Anglicans can now "recognize that the fruitful grace of Christ is at work also in others."
"We thank the Lord that among Christians the desire has grown for greater closeness, which is manifested in our praying together and in our common witness to the Gospel, above all in our various forms of service," he said.
Although the path to full communion can at times seem "slow and uncertain," the Pope said the two communities ought to be encouraged by his visit to the Anglican parish and the joint prayer.
The visit, he said, "is a grace and also a responsibility: the responsibility of strengthening our ties, to the praise of Christ, in service of the Gospel and of this city."