Pope Benedict XVI Meets With Anglican Archbishop Rowan Willams

Rowan Williams


The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury met with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome today:

Pope, Anglican Leader Meet, Agree to Strengthen Relationship

By Chiara Remondini

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) — Pope Benedict XVI and Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, reiterated their wish to strengthen the relationship between the Roman Catholics and the Church of England at a meeting in Rome today.

The two spiritual leaders expressed a “shared will to continue and to consolidate the ecumenical relationship between Catholics and Anglicans,” the Vatican said in a statement on its Web site.

They also discussed in the private audience “the challenges facing all Christian communities” and the need “to promote forms of collaboration,” according to the release.

The visit came at a delicate time for relations between the churches… Benedict last month unveiled a special structure to allow traditionalist Anglican ministers, including married ones, and lay people to join the Catholic Church.  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=al.SP3oVLoP8

The Anglican leader had indicated last week that the Vatican’s plan for accepting Anglicans back to Rome would essentially lead to chaos (see UK Archbishop Foresees Chaos and Uncertainty for Anglicans).

Perhaps he has changed his mind.

One reason might be that the Vatican-based Cardinal Walter Kasper stated that Rome was approached by Anglicans for reunification:

In a Nov. 15 interview with L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Holy See’s office for dialogue with other Christians, said that “to think that the Pope made this decision just to ‘expand his empire’ is ridiculous. A group of Anglicans freely and legitimately asked to enter the Catholic Church. It was not our initiative.” http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1941223,00.html

Thus, as I mentioned in my last post about Rowan Williams, he is in a difficult position.

All in the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox worlds will need to decide, probably next decade, if they will stay where they are, support the original Church of God, or will merge into an ecumenical modified form of Catholicism.  The Anglicans are beginning to face that decision now.

Yesterday, Rowan Williams made it clear that since he supports the ordination of women he will not unify will Rome unless the Vatican changes on this–which is not something that the Vatican is prepared to now do:

Dr Rowan Williams told a conference in Rome that the Catholic Church’s refusal to ordain women was a bar to Christian unity.“For many Anglicans, not ordaining women has a possible unwelcome implication about the difference between baptised men and baptised women,” he said…

The ordination of women priests — and the prospect of women bishops — is one of the main reasons why disaffected Anglicans may take up the Pope’s offer of a “Church within a Church” that would enable them to retain traditional Anglican practices within the Catholic faith.

But yesterday the Archbishop made clear that there would be no turning back the clock on women priests in order to appease critics. He dismissed the Pope’s offer to disaffected Anglicans as barely more than a “pastoral response”, which broke little new ground in relations between the two Churches. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6923807.ece

Due to Rowan Williams’ insistence on the ordination of women, he and those that follow him will likely remain away from Rome.  Hence, despite the outward appearances of cooperation, this will likely lead to a deep divide between the Anglicans that remain with Canterbury and the Vatican.  This may have profound affects on the UK and others in the future.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Women and the New Testament Church Were women important in the New Testament Church? Which women and how were they involved?  Were they ordained to be presbyters?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics The talks for unification involve compromise and the apparent rising up of a changed religion that no one should accept.
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?

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