LEAD IN: The Anglican Church leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury--Dr Donald Coggan-- has completed a visit to Rome where he held two days of talks with Pope Paul about plans for church unity.
LS Pope & Coggen enter chapel, and go to altar (3)
MS Coggan speaks(2)
MS Pope & Coggan
MS Pope & Coggan embrace & talk
LS two men give the benediction
LS Pope & Coggan sign statement (3)
POOL PRINT-ORIG OF 3549/77
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Background: LEAD IN: The Anglican Church leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury--Dr Donald Coggan-- has completed a visit to Rome where he held two days of talks with Pope Paul about plans for church unity.
The Archbishop of Canterbury continued on Saturday (April 30) to Istanbul, for talks with Orthodox Church leaders on religious issues.
The gradual rapprochement between the Roman Catholic Church, with 700 million members, and the Anglican Church, with 67 million, was symbolised on Friday (April 29) when the Pope and the Archbishop together conducted a joint prayer service in the Vatican's famous Sistine Chapel, the place where Popes are elected.
The two church leaders also signed a joint declaration after the service on relations between the two churches.
SYNOPSIS: About 750 people of both religious denominations filled the Sistine Chapel almost to capacity, among them 31 reprobed Roman Catholic Cardinals.
Pope Paul wore a white skullcap and robe, and a crimson velvet cape, while the Archbishop of Canterbury wore a red robe and a white surplice and black sash.
Alternating in the prayers in Latin and in English, and speaking some verses jointly, the Pope and the Archbishop conducted the service together. Then the Archbishop gave an address in English, in which he thanked the Pope for "the warmth of the reception accorded to us, and the frank and loving discussions we have had".
The historic service was made possible by the work of the joint Anglican-Roman catholic theological commission, created eleven years ago. The commission plans to issue a fourth paper on the comparative positions of the churches on theological matters, to be issued some time next year, with a final paper in the early 1980's upon which the question of the possible reunification of the churches after four and a half centuries would be based. The embrace between the two men symbolises the goodwill on both sides; also the benediction to the congregation, given by both men.
They afterwards signed the joint declaration on their talks, reviewing the main points which have divided the churches since 1529, when England's Henry the Eighth formed the Anglican Church after being refused a divorce by Pope Clement the Seventh.