During his visit with an evangelical pastor and his congregation in the Italian city of Caserta, Pope Francis apologized for the persecution of Pentecostal Christians by Italian Catholics.
His remarks were greatly welcomed by evangelical leaders, who responded in a similar way. They also apologized to Catholics.
The president of the World Evangelical Alliance, Rev. Geoff Tunnicliffe, said he was sorry about the discrimination that Protestants, including Evangelical Christians, also imposed on Catholics.
"While we can disagree theologically, this should never lead to discrimination or persecution of the other,” he said. The Rev also added that the Pope's step in apologizing is a great example, and should be a message to the entire world, especially for those countries where tensions between Catholics and Protestants remain.
Geoff Tunnicliffe attended the Pope's Inauguration Mass. He also visited the Vatican for the Pope's meeting with evangelical leaders at Casa Santa Marta.
The World Evangelical Alliance represents about 600 million Protestants in nearly 130 countries.