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Anglican leader reflects on papal visit

February 28, 2017

Robert Innes, the Anglican bishop in Europe, reflected on Pope Francis’s historic February 26 visit to the Anglican church in Rome.

“This was the first time a Bishop of Rome had visited an Anglican parish in his own diocese,” Innes wrote on his blog. “In fact, as far as we are aware, the first time a Roman Pontiff has visited any ‘ordinary’ Anglican parish (rather than let’s say a Cathedral).”

Innes added:

We gathered to celebrate 200 years of Anglican worship in Rome … At the beginning of the 19th century Anglican worship in the city was illegal. The first public services took place in 1816. Gradually, but reluctantly, the authorities allowed public worship to be celebrated. But police were posted, presumably to make sure that the Catholic faithful were not tempted to join in.

Now the community of All Saints inhabits a wonderful building centrally located near the Spanish Steps; it has teaching programs for adults and children; it sustains a range of worship. It has a woman priest. And, along with our other churches in Italy, it has State recognition.


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