(Pope Benedict XVI (R) arrives with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to celebrate the Vespers at San Gregorio al Celio Basilic in Rome March 10, 2012. REUTERS/Ettore Ferrari/Pool)

Pope Benedict and the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, met and prayed together on Saturday but made only glancing references to the divisions between their Churches.

Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke of the “certain but imperfect” link between the two Christian traditions during his address to the congregation at a joint service at the church of St Gregory the Great near Rome’s Colosseum.

The 84-year-old German pope, who earlier held a private meeting with the archbishop at the Vatican, urged all Christians to “renew their commitment to pray constantly and to work for unity” at the same service.

Past popes and Anglican leaders have been much more outspoken about their differences – over issues ranging from women priests and homosexuality to church doctrine – during their meetings.