Pope and Queen say there is no turning back in ecumenism
The contents of the sealed envelopes exchanged during Tuesday's meeting between Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II have been revealed.
During the 24 minute meeting, the Pope and Queen opted to hand their speeches sealed in envelopes to each other, rather than read them.
In the text of her letter, the Queen underlined the coincidence of this visit with the Jubilee Year, and acknowledged the Vatican's support of the peace process in Northern Ireland.
The head of the Anglican Church also noted "the important progress that has been made in overcoming the historic differences between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, as exemplified in particular by the meeting of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Canada this year. I trust that we shall continue to advance along the path that leads to Christian unity."
In his text to the Queen, the Pope said that "there can be no turning back from the ecumenical goal we have set ourselves in obedience to the Lord's command."
The Pope stated that the "future, too, demands of us a sense of shared purpose. I am thinking first of Europe, which stands at a turning point in its history as it seeks a unity capable of excluding forever the kind of conflicts that have been so much a part of its past."
Click here to read the full text of the Pope's message to the Queen
Zenit (available soon)