Anglicans and Catholics Still Getting Along

London Prelate Affirms Good Relations After New Path for Conversion

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 1, 2010 ( The Catholic Church and the Church of England continue to have good relations after Benedict XVI has paved the way for Anglicans to become Catholics in groups.

This was affirmed by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster today when he addressed the Pope on behalf of the bishops of England and Wales in Rome for their five-yearly visit.

Archbishop Nichols characterized the Holy Father’s response to Anglicans who have requested communion with Rome as «generous and paternal.»

And he affirmed that the groundwork of «close cooperation and deepening friendship and communion» between Anglicans and Catholics have «helped us to ensure that the various interpretations of and reactions to ‘Anglicanorum Coetibus’ have not seriously disrupted the relationships between our Ecclesial Communions.»

«Indeed,» the prelate said, «the commitment to commence a third round of discussions as part of the work of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission has reinforced this relationship. We remain ready to explore with those Anglicans in England and Wales who wish to take up your generous and paternal response to their requests the ways forward towards full communion.»

A visit and a beatification

Archbishop Nichols also affirmed the prelates’ «joy at the prospect of [the Pope’s] visit to our countries.»

«The entire Catholic community looks forward to this much hoped-for visit and the encouragement you will give not only to us but to all our fellow citizens,» he said.

The Holy Father is expected to visit Great Britain in September.

Archbishop Nichols characterized his flock as one facing «great challenges,» but also open to «things of faith, not least in a time of uncertainty and anxiety about many aspects of our society.»

«The beatification of the Venerable John Henry Newman, who spoke so eloquently to our English tradition and culture, is, we trust, the eagerly anticipated climax of your proposed visit,» he added.


Archbishop Nichols also thanked the Holy Father for his leadership on the global scene in such issues as the financial crisis and ecology.

«Your insistence on the central place of the human person, and of integral human development, is a powerful reminder that the most important truths have to shape economic and social programs if they are to be of genuine service to the common good,» the archbishop told the Pope. «First among these are, of course, the respect for life from its beginnings and the crucial role of marriage and family for the well-being not only of children but also for the good of society.»

The English prelate also thanked the Bishop of Rome for the Year of St. Paul and the Year for Priests, saying these initiatives have helped in a «deeper appreciation of the Word of God and of the gift of the Eucharist.»

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