VATICAN: November 28, 2009. (By jochanj) Vatican officially announced the meeting between Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canterbury as ‘Cordial’ on Saturday
The Pope gifted the Archbishop with a pectoral Cross and the Archbishop had a ring that Pope Paul VI had gifted to Archbishop Michael Ramsey.
A statement issued just after the meeting of the leaders in Vatican said that the leaders discussed, “the need to promote forms of collaboration and shared witness” as Christianity all over the world faces challenges. The statement continued to clarify the meeting as “the discussions also focused on recent events affecting relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.”
The statement affirmed the preparedness of the leaders for “shared will to continue and consolidate the ecumenical relationship between Catholics and Anglicans.” Soon after the meeting the Dr. Williams, the Archbishop, in an interview granted to BBCBBC said that the meeting had gone smoothly, “as well as I could have hoped. I was able to express the concerns which many Anglicans feel in the way the Apostolic Constitution was handled, in the way it was made public, but we moved from there to talk more positive matters of co-operation, and he (the Pope) was extremely enthusiastic about the next stage of official dialogue between the two churches. “
Dr. Williams brushed aside the accusation that the Pope’s move had damaged ecumenical relations. He said, “I think not. I think it’s a pastoral measure for certain people, certain groupings. It is not a new ecumenism, as some people are saying. It is not a new departure replacing the continuing dialogue of the two Churches as Churches.
The suggestion that there is a new track in ecumenism in the Apostolic Constitution is not the case.”
In yet another interview with Vatican Radio, the Archbishop said that the misleading messages given out in the manner of announcement of the Pope’s move had left both the Archbishop and many Anglicans in “an awkward position for some time. I wanted to share some of these concerns with the Pope. I think those were expressed and heard in a friendly spirit.”