Pope Francis and Anglican Primate Archbishop Justin Welby meet to pursue unity efforts between the Anglican and Catholic churches Oct 6 2016. Photo credit: LOsservatore Romano CNA
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Rome, Italy, Feb 25, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis will tomorrow become the first Roman Pontiff to set foot in an Anglican parish in Rome, marking a symbolic act the church’s pastor said is hugely significant, yet surprisingly normal for two communities that are close to one another.
“Personally, as a parish priest of 17 years in this place, I can’t imagine a more fulfilling moment in my ministry,” Jonathan Boardman, pastor of All Saints Anglican Church in Rome, told CNA.
“It’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened, except it isn’t,” he said, explaining that it’s a very “natural and normal thing” for a group of Christians to welcome the leader of their brethren to their house.
For Pope Francis to become the first Roman Pontiff to step inside an Anglican parish in Rome, then, is “the most exciting thing, and it’s the most normal thing,” he said, saying it’s a gesture “that explains a truth about our Christian living.”
Both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, he said, have to find “the excitement of the Gospel and the fulfillment of it” in everything they do, “from the most rare thing to the most ordinary thing,” such as giving to the poor and offering prayers together.