|Francis worshipping with the Anglicans. (See video of his recent visit to "All-Saints" Anglican "Church" in Rome HERE)|
|Pope Leo XIII|
Pope Leo XIII: “Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.” (See: Does the Catholic Church recognise Anglican Ordinations as Valid?)
Francis: “...I was very friendly with the Anglicans at Buenos Aires, because the back of the parish of Merced was connected with the Anglican Cathedral. I was very friendly with Bishop Gregory Venables, very friendly. But there’s another experience: In the north of Argentina there are the Anglican missions with the aborigines, and the Anglican Bishop and the Catholic Bishop there work together and teach. And when people can’t go on Sunday to the Catholic celebration they go to the Anglican, and the Anglicans go to the Catholic, because they don’t want to spend Sunday without a celebration; and they work together. And here [at the Vatican], the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith knows this. And they engage in charity together. And the two Bishops are friends and the two communities are friends. I think this is a richness [treasure] that our young Churches can bring to Europe and to the Churches that have a great tradition. And they give to us the solidity of a very, very well cared for and very thought out tradition. It’s true, — ecumenism in young Churches is easier. It’s true. But I believe that – and I return to the second question – ecumenism is perhaps more solid in theological research in a more mature Church, older in research, in the study of history, of Theology, of the Liturgy, as the Church in Europe is. And I think it would do us good, to both Churches: from here, from Europe to send some seminarians to have pastoral experience in the young Churches, so much is learned. We know [that] they come, from the young Churches, to study at Rome, at least the Catholics [do]. But to send them to see, to learn from the young Churches would be a great richness in the sense you said. Ecumenism is easier there, it’s easier, something that does not mean [it’s] more superficial, no, no, it’s not superficial. They don’t negotiate the faith and [their] identity. In the north of Argentina, an aborigine says to you: “I’m Anglican.” But the bishop is not here, the Pastor is not here, the Reverend is not here . . . “I want to praise God on Sunday and so I go to the Catholic Cathedral,” and vice versa. They are riches of the young Churches. I don’t know, this is what comes to me to say to you. (See: Pope’s Q & A at Anglican All Saints Church ).