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Archbishop of Canterbury wants a say in planning for Anglican ordinariates

October 20, 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that Anglican leaders should be involved in the planning for ordinariates that are established to accommodate the pastoral needs of Anglicans entering the Catholic Church.

Dr. Rowan Williams, who is traveling in India, told an interviewer for The Hindu that he was “very taken aback” when Pope Benedict moved to establish the ordinariates “without any real consultation” with the Anglican leadership. Now that the move has been made, he said, “we are trying to make sure that there is a joint group which will keep an eye on how it’s going to happen.”

The worldwide leader of the Anglican communion did not provide any rationale for expecting a voice in planning for the care of people who are, after all, leaving his faith community. But he did offer a practical reason for expecting that Catholic bishops might accede to his wishes. “In England, relations between the Church of England and Roman Catholic bishops are very warm and very close,” he said. “I think we are able to work together on this and not find it a difficulty.”

If the English Catholic bishops are prepared to move forward with the ordinariates at a pace that will not cause any "difficulty" for the Church of England, the entry of Anglicans into the Catholic Church may proceed very slowly.


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  • Posted by: Obregon - Oct. 21, 2010 1:43 AM ET USA

    Why should Williams have anything to say on this matter? Part of the reason his people are leaving for the Tiber is his very failure to keep Anglicanism "Christian" and now he wants a say on decisions that are properly left to Rome and to those Anglicans ready to leave for Rome. There is a difference between true ecumenism and irenicism.

  • Posted by: pcgondreau8983 - Oct. 20, 2010 10:10 PM ET USA

    Funny, isn't it, how the Anglican church can thumb its nose at the Catholic and Orthodox churches, not to mention 2,000 years of tradition, in its cavalier-like decision to ordain women and active homosexuals, but then be "very taken aback" when Rome doesn't consult with the Anglicans in throwing the Church's arms wide open to Anglo-Catholics? Strange world we live in.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Oct. 20, 2010 7:28 PM ET USA

    If any congregations hope to take their buildings and property with them, it would make very practical sense to have an amicable working relationship with the local Anglican authorities. (Which is ironic, given the amount of Catholic property appropriated by the Church of England back int he 16th century!)

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Oct. 20, 2010 6:55 PM ET USA

    Could it be that these departing clergy might convince the archbishop to follow them? The logic is there. If Rowan listens, he might hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, if the Holy Spirit does speak, huge pressure would fall on Dr. Williams' shoulders. One denies the Holy Spirit at his peril.

  • Posted by: rpp - Oct. 20, 2010 6:39 PM ET USA

    That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I cannot even bring to mind a reasonable simile or metaphor.