Catholic Church extends hand to Anglicans unhappy with liberal policies
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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.
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