Efforts are under way to salvage Anglo-Catholic dialogue following Pope Benedict XVI's decree setting out new structures to receive groups of disaffected Anglicans into the Catholic Church.
Preliminary talks took place this week for a third round of talks by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (Arcic), which took place days after the head of the Anglican Communion, Dr Rowan Williams, said he had been "disappointed" that the Vatican had given him just two weeks' notice of its intention to set up personal ordinariates to accommodate Anglicans who become Catholics.
On 21 November he met Pope Benedict XVI for the first time since the plans became public. The official communiqué said Dr Williams' 20-minute private audience included "cordial discussions" and the men discussed "the challenges facing all Christian communities ... and the need to promote forms of collaboration and shared witness in facing these challenges".
It went on to say that the Pope spoke to the archbishop about "recent events affecting relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion". They reiterated "the shared will to continue and to consolidate the ecumenical relationship between Catholics and Anglicans".
However, in Rome Dr Williams privately indicated he had been "bruised" by recent events and that there had been hurt, humiliation and considerable anger in the Anglican Communion. The Tablet has learned that he expressed similar sentiments to the Pope. He told the BBC he was "disappointed" by Rome's handling of events, and to Vatican Radio he said the way the apostolic constitution had been received had put "many Anglicans, myself included ... in an awkward position".
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