Pope Benedict and Archbishop of Canterbury in 'cordial' meeting

Pope Benedict and the  Archbishop of Canterbury held a private meeting at the Vatican today.  The meeting, arranged some months ago,  was the first time they have met since the Pope released his Apostolic Constitution, inviting some Anglicans discontented with recent reforms in the Church of England,  to become Catholic.  

The Vatican issued the following brief statement after the meeting:

This morning His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in private audience His Grace Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the course of the cordial discussions attention turned to the challenges facing all Christian communities at the beginning of this millennium, and to the need to promote forms of collaboration and shared witness in facing these challenges.

The discussions also focused on recent events affecting relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, reiterating the shared will to continue and to consolidate the ecumenical relationship between Catholics and Anglicans, and recalling how, over coming days, the commission entrusted with preparing the third phase of international theological dialogue between the parties (ARCIC) is due to meet.

Dr Williams said he felt the meeting went  well. He told reporters: "I told Pope Benedict about the concerns felt among the Anglican Communion about the way in which the Apostolic Constitution was released. Then we moved on to discuss more positive matters."

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