Some are accusing the Vatican of ‘poaching’ Anglicans as Pope Benedict paves the way for thousands of unhappy Protestants to join the Catholic Church.
“Vatican makes bid to lure Anglicans,” reads this headline on the front page of the International Herald Tribune. Rome will invite traditional Protestants unhappy with liberal policies to join the Catholic Church, the paper notes. In the UK, The Times says as many as 1,000 priests could quit the Church of England and thousands more may leave churches in America and Australia under bold proposals to welcome Anglicans to Rome.
“Entire parishes and even dioceses could be tempted to defect after Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to offer a legal structure to Anglicans joining the Roman Catholic Church.”
“His decree, issued yesterday, is a serious blow to attempts by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to save the Anglican Communion from further fragmentation and threatens to wreck decades of ecumenical dialogue,” the paper says.
The Times also notes Dr. Williams discomfort with the move. In a letter to bishops and clergy, he wrote: “I am sorry that there has been no opportunity to alert you earlier to this. I was informed of the planned announcement at a very late stage.” Many privately accused Rome of poaching and attacked Dr. Williams for capitulating to the Vatican.
Other stories covered today:
“Never has so much money been owed by so few to so many,” says the Governor of the Bank of England. Mervyn King echoes Churchill in a devastating indictment of the banks. King describers the £1 trillion of support given to banks by taxpayers as “breathtaking”.
This English-language Turkish daily is covering a major peace initiative with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK this week. Turkey has freed a Kurdish group arrested by the authorities after they arrived from neighbouring Iraq. The symbolic move was initiated by Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK who is serving life in prison. He urged the PKK last week to send what he described as “peace groups” to surrender to Turkish authorities. The PKK is seeking amnesty for its fighters and more rights for the Kurdish minority in Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan seems now to recognize that military action alone cannot solve the conflict with Kurds.
China Daily, South China Morning Post
Several Chinese papers publish a photo of this extraordinary 91-year-old, Xiao Qinglian. The dexterous pensioner puts his legs over his shoulders before leaning over to pick up a coin with his mouth. China Daily calls him “Mr. Rubber”. He’s more rubbery than I am, in any case.