Pope Francis becomes first pontiff to visit Anglican church in Rome | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Pope Francis becomes first pontiff to visit Anglican church in Rome

Pope Francis has become the first pontiff to visit an Anglican church in Rome. Anglicans split from Catholicism in 1534, when England’s King Henry VIII was denied a marriage annulment. Both churches are striving toward greater closeness despite obstacles.

world Updated: Feb 26, 2017 23:32 IST
AP
Pope Francis
Pope Francis smiles during his visit to the All Saints' Anglican Church in Rome on Sunday.(REUTERS)

Pope Francis has become the first pontiff to visit an Anglican church in Rome.

Francis and an Anglican bishop prayed side-by-side on Sunday afternoon at All Saints Church in central Rome.

Bishop Robert Innes welcomed Francis by praising the Roman Catholic leader for his solidarity with refugees and migrants.

Anglicans split from Catholicism in 1534, when England’s King Henry VIII was denied a marriage annulment. Both churches are striving toward greater closeness despite obstacles.

Pope Francis delivers a speech as Robert Innes (right), the Anglican Bishop in Europe, listens during the pope’s historic visit to the Anglican Church of All Saints in Rome on Sunday. (AP)

Francis in his homily acknowledged that Anglicans and Catholics “viewed each other with suspicion and hostility” in past centuries.

He encouraged both faiths to be “always more liberated from our respective prejudices from the past.”

Francis made no references to major theological differences, including the Anglican practices of ordaining women and allowing openly gay bishops.