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Italy: Catholic Church and Equal Rights - Anti-Gay Pope Francis Meets Sweden's Antje Jackelén Female Head Of Lutheran Church

The Vatican made history Monday when Pope Francis welcomed a woman archbishop to an official audience at the Apostolic Palace for the first time, according to Vatican Radio.

Archbishop Antje Jackelén, the first female head of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, tweeted her gratitude for the meeting to the pope, with a photograph of the two religious leaders chatting.

The pontiff has staunchly opposed ordination for women in the Catholic Church. “The Church has spoken and says no... That door is closed," he said in a July 2013 press conference.

The topic on Monday's agenda was not, however, women's role in the church, but rather the need for Christian unity across denominations and for better care for the poor. Francis addressed the archbishop as "esteemed Mrs. Jackelén, esteemed sister" in his call for charity.

“The call to unity as followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ includes an urgent call for a common effort on the charity front," Francis said, according to Vatican Insider. "The testimony of our brothers and sisters especially, pushes us to grow in fraternal communion."

Note EU-Digest:  in the meantime it was reported that the Pope - who in some eyes is a "wolf in sheep's clothing", has personally met with France’s proposed Gay ambassador to the Vatican – to tell him his appointment will be blocked because he is gay.

Read more: Pope Francis Meets With Female Head Of Church Of Sweden, Archbishop Antje Jackelén

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