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Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams concluded his visit to Rome over the weekend with what a Vatican statement called “cordial discussions” in the papal library with Pope Benedict XVI. The spritual leader of the world-wide Anglican Communion confessed to Vatican Radio after the meeting that the two had discussed some of the “awkward” side effects […]

2 Comments

  1. If the pope recognized “episcopal status” for Archbishop Williams, the provision for Anglicans coming into full communion with the Catholic Church would not require Anglican bishops to be ordained. It seems much more likely the gift of a pectoral cross is a gesture of respect, not a statement about the sacrament of Holy Orders.

  2. Francis X. Rocca

    Good point by Kyle; my language was too loose. The Catholic Church does not consider Anglican orders valid. For that matter, it does not consider the Anglican Communion a church “in the proper sense.” But I think it’s reasonable to infer that the Pope’s present symbolizes an acknowledgment of Williams’s leadership as somehow akin or parallel to episcopacy. Otherwise, why make the gesture of respect with such a loaded symbol?