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Pope Francis listens as Bishop Shane Mackinlay of Sandhurst, Australia, the new Catholic co-chair of the Joint International Commission for Dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Catholic Church, speaks during an audience with members of the commission at the Vatican Oct. 5, 2022. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Sandhurst Bishop Shane Mackinlay met with Pope Francis last week in his new role as the Catholic co-chair of the Methodist-Roman Catholic International Commission. Source: Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity

Pope Francis received members of the commission in a private audience on October 5. The commission is the official joint commission between the World Methodist Council and the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity. The commission, which first began work in 1967 and has met since without interruption, was meeting in Rome for the first plenary meeting of its 12th round of dialogue.

The commission was accompanied to the audience by Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity.

In his address, Bishop Mackinlay introduced the commission and its current work, which focuses on mission and synodality, and particularly on the way that mission shapes the formulation of doctrine.

In his response the Methodist co-chair, Reverend Professor Edgardo Colón-Emeric, presented Pope Francis with the God in Christ Reconciling: On the Way to Full Communion in Faith, Sacraments, and Mission, report, which stemmed from the conclusion of the 11th round of dialogue in 2021.

Pope Francis responded by reflecting on the parable of the prodigal son, underlining the report’s scriptural reflection that both Catholics and Methodists are “sons” who, by sin, have wandered from the Father’s house, and who both need to return to the Father to find unity in faith and sacramental life.


Pope Francis meets with Methodist‒Catholic dialogue team (Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity)