The Sacred Synod of Clergy (October 2002) requested that a letter be sent to Pope John Paul II, assuring him of the Synod’s prayers and good wishes on the occasion of the impending anniversary of his pontificate. The Rt Revd Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, wrote on behalf of the Synod. The full exchange of letters is reproduced here.
The Feast of St Luke
18th October 2002
His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio
LONDON SW19 5NE
The Second Sacred Synod, of nearly 400 Anglo-Catholic priests meeting at Westminster on 16th and 17th October, resolved to send an assurance of prayers and an expression of filial devotion to the Holy Father as he begins the twenty fifth year of his pontificate.
I should be grateful if you would communicate this message on our behalf.
Chairman of the Sacred Synod Planning Committee
Secretariat of State
From the Vatican 22 November 2002
My Lord Bishop
His Holiness Pope John Paul II has directed me to acknowledge the kind message of good wishes which you sent to him through the Apostolic Nunciature for the Twenty-fourth Anniversary of the Inauguration of his Pontificate. He is most grateful for this thoughtful gesture.
His Holiness prays that the immense challenges facing the human family will encourage all Christians to renew their efforts to build a world of genuine solidarity, justice and peace. He cordially invokes upon you and your associates an abundance of divine blessings.
With every good wish, I am
+ Leonardo Sandri
6th November 2002
Dear Bishop Burnham
Please accept my sincere thanks for the warm and prayerful greetings which the Second Sacred Synod has asked you to convey, via the Apostolic Nunciature, to His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
During Mass in the Vatican Basilica, at the beginning of the week which saw the twenty-fourth anniversary of his pontificate, Pope John Paul emphasized that “today we must unite the search for sanctity in Christian life with the realization of Christian Unity…We must cultivate the spirituality of communion. We must incessantly feed the passion for unity.”
With these sentiments I wish to renew my thanks and, acknowledging your greetings, assure you that they will be conveyed as you have requested to the Holy Father.
With my cordial best wishes.
+ Pablo Puente
Archbishop Pablo Puente