UCA past-president, Rev Dean Drayton (pictured left with Stuart Mills, Tara Curlewis and Roby Goodwin), and Uniting Church in Australia Tertiary Student Association missionary, Robyn Goodwin, were invited to attend the service along with other members of the National Council of Churches.
“I found him warm, welcoming and open,” said Dean Drayton. Rev Drayton also praised the head of the Catholic Church for his comments on the Ecumenical Covenant signed by the Australian churches in 2004.
“He spoke on the contending need for a dialogue of truth, emphasised the importance of churches receiving gifts of the spirit from one another in order to promote generosity and love, and hoped that one day we might all share the Eucharist together.”
Robyn, who gave the bible reading at the service, was similarly encouraged by the Pope’s words and thanked him when the opportunity arose to shake his hand.
Although the Uniting Church has good relations with the Catholic Church, Rev Drayton said, “The Uniting Church is always looking for new ways to share and practice in our Christian faith…today can be regarded as a sign of this”.
Rev Drayton also called for members of the Uniting Church in Australia to be encouraged by today’s meeting.
“Unity is a gift God has given to us — pray unity might come [between our churches] sooner rather than later.”
(Robyn Goodwin meets Pope Benedict XVI)