British Ambassador’s hope for Interfaith Dialogue after Centre visit

The British Ambassador to the Holy See paid a visit to the Focolare Centre in Rome on 29 November. Sally Axworthy met with Maria Voce, President of the Focolare Movement, along with a group representing different spheres of activity in the movement today.

Discussions covered inter-religious dialogue, particularly in Britain, and hopes were expressed about interfaith collaboration ahead of the UN Climate summit in Glasgow next year. Mrs Axworthy, who worked for several years on African affairs, was also interested to hear about Fontem – where the community in Cameroon continue to put the Gospel life into practice despite the difficult political situation.

Conleth Burns, a law graduate from Northern Ireland spoke about a project in his home village of Armoy which has brought the different communities together. Following the meeting, he said: “this was a great chance to share some of the unity building work of the Focolare Movement and United World Project with Ambass ador Axworthy. We hope to work together ahead of the important COP26 next year.”

Conleth continued: “these meetings are important encounters in building relationships with countries all over the world. Ours is a goal of building a more united world and these meetings help move us in that direction.”

The British diplomat later Tweeted “Spent the morning with the Focolare movement in Rocca di Papa hearing about their purpose ‘that all should be one’. They live out their beliefs eg through a hospital in Cameroon, a united community centre in Northern Ireland or inter-religious dialogue. An inspiring movement.”