Archbishop Rowan Williams is in Rome and said today that women priests should not be a stumbling block for the building of ties between the Roman Catholic church and the Anglican Communion. One wonders if he thinks that the Roman Catholic leadership agrees with his assertion. Stay tuned.
Williams, in Rome, says women priests shouldn't be stumbling block
Nov 17, 2010 by Francis X. Rocca of RNS, posted at The Christian Century
A week and a half after losing five Anglican bishops to the Catholic Church, the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion reaffirmed his dedication to ecumenical relations between the two churches -- and his belief that female Anglican priests should not be an impediment to union.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams spoke Wednesday (Nov. 17) at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Vatican's ecumenical office. Dozens of senior Catholic leaders attended, including the church's No. 2 official, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
While reflecting on progress in Anglican-Catholic relations, Williams admitted to "intractable difficulties" in two areas: disputes over the authority of the pope, and a failure of the two churches "to recognize each other's ministries fully."
Catholics insist on an all-male priesthood, while several parts of the Anglican Communion -- including the Church of England, the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada -- ordain women.
Williams echoed a statement from his Nov. 2009 address to a Vatican ecumenical conference, when he asked rhetorically "in what way" the ordination of women priests could "compromise the purposes of the church."