Rome, Italy, Feb 17, 2017 / 00:08 am
Pope Francis will visit All Saints Anglican Church in Rome Feb. 26 to mark the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Anglican parish community in the heart of the Eternal City.
Jonathan Boardman, who serves as parish priest of All Saints, confirmed the news to CNA.
"The meeting will take place at 4 p.m. in the afternoon, and it will follow the Eucharist celebrated in the morning by our bishops to mark our 200th anniversary," he said.
The Pope will not celebrate Vespers, as he did in San Gregorio al Celio with Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, on Oct. 5, 2016. However, he will take part in the blessing and dedication of an icon to celebrate the church's anniversary, Boardman reported.
"Then, together with our bishops, the Pope will renew baptismal vows, in a spirit of communion, even though we cannot have full communion," the Anglican clergyman said.
At present, the calendar of the All Saints Church's website describes the Feb. 26 afternoon meeting as an "ecumenical service for the 200th anniversary."
At the end of the celebration, Boardman said, "Pope Francis will witness a twinning between our parish and the Catholic church of All Saints in Rome, the only Catholic church in the Rome area dedicated to All Saints."
The All Saints Catholic Church is famous because it is the site where Blessed Paul VI celebrated the first Mass according to the Novus Ordo.
Boardman said the event builds on good Catholic-Anglican relations in Rome.