Carey plans to visit Pope again

Published February 1, 1999

Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, is expected to visit Pope John Paul II in Rome this month.

Dr. Carey is due to visit Rome Feb. 12-14 to open the expanded Anglican Centre.

Rev. Richard Marsh, Dr. Carey’s adviser on ecumenical affairs, told ENI that while it was too early to say whether there would be a substantive agenda, he expected that millennium celebrations and Third World debt would be discussed. He also expected the leaders would avoid discussing the Vatican’s reiteration last year of its ban on non-Roman Catholics receiving communion in that church.

When ENI suggested that the millennium and Third World debt, although important, did not advance Christian unity, Canon Marsh replied: “I beg to differ. Working on these issues is a way of putting it all together.”

Canon Marsh also told ENI that a “leaders’ meeting” for the world-wide Roman Catholic and Anglican communities was scheduled for the year 2000 in Canada. The meeting was foreshadowed in the Common Declaration issued after the previous meeting between the Pope and Dr. Carey in Rome in December 1996.

Rev. Alyson Barnett-Cowan, director of faith, worship and ministry for the Anglican Church of Canada, confirmed the meeting is scheduled for mid-May outside Toronto. Although the Pope is not expected to attend, Canon Barnett-Cowan said the Vatican is expected to send a “high-level” delegation.

The leaders’ meeting in Canada follows recognition in the Common Declaration that without agreement on authority in the church “we shall not reach the full visible unity to which we are both committed” . The second paper from the joint Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission called The Gift of Authority, is expected to be published in the next few months.

The Anglican Centre, whose new premises Dr. Carey will open, is a seminar and study facility with the biggest Anglican library in continental Europe.

It was established about 30 years ago as part of an ecumenical initiative by the then Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey.


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