Archbishop of Canterbury’s address at a Willebrands Symposium in Rome

Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury is in Rome, for meetings at the Vatican, including an audience with Pope Benedict XVI (see some details HERE).

The Archbishop also contributed to the Willebrands Symposium, an academic event celebrating the ecumenical contribution of Cardinal Willebrands, the first President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, organised after the Second Vatican Council.

Rowan Williams has read a paper at this event. I reproduce below a fragment from this discourse, related to the recent openings at the Vatican for receiving among Catholics those Anglicans who are discontent with recent evolutions in the Anglican Communion.

The recent announcement of an Apostolic Constitution making provision for former Anglicans shows some marks of the recognition that diversity of ethos does not in itself compromise the unity of the Catholic Church, even within the bounds of the historic Western patriarchate. But it should be obvious that it does not seek to do what we have been sketching: it does not build in any formal recognition of existing ministries or units of oversight or methods of independent decision-making, but remains at the level of spiritual and liturgical culture, as we might say. As such, it is an imaginative pastoral response to the needs of some; but it does not break any fresh ecclesiological ground. It remains to be seen whether the flexibility suggested in the Constitution might ever lead to something less like a ‘chaplaincy’ and more like a church gathered around a bishop.

You may read the whole text HERE.





Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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