Correction to The Guardian's claim that no pope has ever shook the hand of an Anglican clergywoman:
The Rev. Donald Schell, a Daily Episcopalian contributor, let us know that actually Pope John Paul II shook the hand of the Rev. Beth Kelly, an Anglican clergywoman in April 2003.
From Donald Schell:
The Guardian is wrong about the first Anglican woman priest to shake hands with the Pope. This is my friend Beth Kelly, Diocese of California, in her collar in an audience with John Paul II. Beth was traveling with Bill and Mary Swing (Will was still the Bishop of California) and with Michael Hansen, Executive Officer of the Diocese, with Archbishop (now Cardinal Levada) and I believe with the Greek Bishop of San Francisco. They'd planned to visit +Rowan, the Pope, and the Ecumenical Patriarch. Canterbury couldn't work them into schedule.
From Beth Kelly
Yes, Donald he shook my hand then clasped it and blessed my community and my ministry. I understood from then Archbishop Levada (now Cardinal Levada and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) that I was the first to be met in what they call private audience. I think he wouldn't make a mistake about that.