Thursday, March 23, 2006

Rowan-Benedict: The Summit

The archbishop of Canterbury will visit the Vatican in the autumn....
The visit later this year will mark the 40th anniversary of Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey's historic meeting with Pope Paul VI in 1966.

That was the first formal meeting between the heads of the two churches since England's King Henry VIII broke with Rome in the 16th Century.
At that visit, Paul gave Ramsey his ring, which has been passed down the Canterbury line since -- Williams wore it, and the pectoral cross given him by John Paul II, when he was in Rome for the interregnum ceremonies last year.
"My visit this autumn is an opportunity to continue that rich tradition of visits between Canterbury and Rome," said Williams, struggling to avoid schism in his own church over the ordination in America of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson....

"We are living in an ecumenical winter," admitted former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey who visited Pope John Paul six times.

"It has got even icier since the American church's decision to consecrate Gene Robinson which goes completely against the Catholic position and the historic position of the Anglican communion as well," he told the Times.

Carey hoped the personal chemistry between Williams and Pope Benedict would help to mend bridges.