As the Grand Celtic Vizier of Canterbury flies to Rome today, the secular press are making much hay over the “shared dream” of the re-unification of the Anglican Communion and the Holy See.
None of them are going so far as to say it is possible, but the reasons they name betray a very Anglican focus.
Again and again the focus is on Cardinal Walter “Over my dead body” Kasper’s warning that “women bishops” would kill of that dream for good and all. Yet does it really matter?
When last I checked, the Anglicans did not have the power to institute a ruddy cheeked youth as an acolyte, let alone elevate Mrs Mottram to the episcopate.
It is odd that Apostolicae Curae is never mentioned these days, by either ‘us’ or ‘them’. One has to wonder if it is simply politeness on both sides or if the Anglicans, and perhaps many Catholics, feel that the much contested ‘spirit of the Council’ somehow made Anglican orders valid.
In an interview with the Tablet recently, Dr Williams expressed his fears he might end up being rude to the Supreme Pontiff so I sincerely doubt we will get another photo of Rowan on his knees kissing the Fisherman’s Ring, as he did when he visited John Paul the Great.
No doubt Dr Williams and HH will have a good chat and, as Harold MacMillian would say “exchange many frank words in our respective languages”.
But also as MacMillian said “precious little came of that in the way of understanding”.