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English bishops stalled earlier outreach to Anglicans, journalist reports

Catholic World News - November 22, 2010

Reflecting on the ordinariates that are being established to welcome Anglicans into the Catholic Church, William Oddie of London’s Catholic Herald reports that a similar accommodation could have been reached in the 1990s, if not for the opposition of many English bishops.

Oddie recalls that with an agreement on the horizon, the English hierarchy resisted accepting Anglicans. The late Pope John Paul II asked, “what are the English bishops afraid of?” Oddie reports, while then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger added his query: “Why are the English bishops so un-apostolic?”

Oddie reveals that when he was asked about Pope Benedict’s new plan to welcome Anglicans, he expressed the certainty “that the whole thing would be sunk unless the English bishops were kept firmly out of the loop.”

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