Talking to Philippa Hitchen after the event, Dr Williams also spoke of the five Anglican bishops who announced this week they’d be joining the new Ordinariate to be established for those seeking unity with Rome:
“Obviously my reactions to the resignations is one of regret but respect – I know the considerations they’ve been through, particular the two who were my suffragans, we’ve talked about it, we’ve worked through it and parted with prayers and blessings so there’s no ill feeling there. I think the challenge will come in working out shared use of churches, of how we as Anglicans ‘recommend’ people and also of course there will be some parishes without priests so we have a practical challenge here and there.”
Asked to comment on Pope Benedict’s description of the Ordinariate as a ‘prophetic gesture’, he replied, “Well I think if the Ordinariate helps people evaluate Anglican legacy or patrimony, well and good, I’m happy to praise God for it. I don’t see it as an aggressive act, meant to destabilise the relations of the Churches and it remains to be seen just how large a movement we’re talking about.
But prophetic? Maybe yes, in the sense that here is the Roman Catholic Church saying there are ways of being Christian in the Western church which are not restricted by historic Roman Catholic identity – that’s something we can talk about."
The interview can be heard in MP3 format at the Vatican Radio Station.