Tuesday, November 24, 2009

For Cantuar, a Cross

Rome's recent rollout of plans to welcome groups of disaffected Anglicans might've left Rowan Williams with what he termed a "sore ego," but at his Saturday audience with B16, the archbishop of Canterbury came away with a notable gift (above): a pectoral cross, set with an amethyst... the stone traditionally reserved for bishops.

It wasn't the first time the Anglican chief received episcopal tribute from a pontiff -- at their lone meeting, John Paul II not only gave another cross to the 103rd successor of St Augustine, but raised some eyebrows by kissing Williams' ring.

For context purposes on the latter bit, though, it's important to add that the ring Williams wore to the 2003 audience was the same one Pope Paul VI removed from his hand and gave to Archbishop Michael Ramsay at their 1966 encounter, only the second such meet-up between a Pope and English primate since the Reformation.

PHOTO: Reuters