By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
VATICAN CITY (Worthy News)– Pope Francis has reached out to evangelicals by becoming the first pontiff to visit a Pentecostal church, according to Yahoo News.
Monday Francis visited the Evangelical Church of Reconciliation now under construction in Caserta and later met privately with Pentecostal preacher Giovanni Traettino.
Francis apologized for Catholic persecution of Pentecostals during Italy's fascist regime and stressed that there was unity in diversity within Christianity.
"Among those who persecuted and denounced Pentecostals, almost as if they were crazy people trying to ruin the race, there were also Catholics," he said. "I am the pastor of Catholics, and I ask your forgiveness for those Catholic brothers and sisters who didn't know and were tempted by the devil."
But not all Catholics and evangelicals welcomed the pope's outreach: Catholics have accused Pentecostals and other evangelicals of luring parishioners away from the Roman Church while Italian evangelicals decried the incompatibility of their beliefs with Catholic dogma.