Saturday, October 24, 2009

Former archbishop attacks Pope for Anglican overtures

Lord Carey says lack of consultation on Rome's invitation to Anglo-Catholics is 'inexcusable'

By Imogen Lillywhite

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Lord Carey (above) said Pope Benedict XVI's failure to consult was 'inexcusable'

The former archbishop of Canterbury criticised the Roman Catholic Church this weekend, branding as "inexcusable" its failure to consult leading Church of England clergy on the Pope's invitation for Anglo-Catholics to join him.

Lord Carey gave a cautious welcome to the proposals from Rome but said he was "distressed" that his successor had received just two weeks' notice of them.

He said that the move by Pope Benedict XVI could help clergy in the Church of England who were unhappy with the ordination of women bishops.

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However, he urged the current Archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams, to protest at the lack of consultation.

He told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4: "I would protest and say what we must do is to work closely together, and I gave the example of 10 or 15 years years ago when we were ordaining women as priests.

"My views are predicated on one little word: 'if'. I don't know the details, but if my successor was only informed about this two weeks ago then I think this is quite distressing.

"We are closer together, we share offices – ecumenical offices – in many dioceses and so on. There was really no need for it to be done in this kind of way."

He added: "I was very surprised by the way this was done, not the action itself. I think we ought to give this a cautious welcome."

Dr Williams said earlier last week that he had been informed of the move at a very late stage, but said he did not see it as an act of aggression by the Catholic church.

He added that it would be a "serious mistake" to view it as a response to the difficulties within the Church of England.


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