It has been reported in the Tablet this week that new proposals are being put forward By the Roman Church to the Anglican Communion generally and the Church of England specifically which are a radical departure from earlier attempts to bring the two Christian communities into a positive and lasting dialogue.
On the matter of Women Priests, the Roman Church are willing to review the Socio-theological basis for removing a male only priesthood. On the matter of the marriage of clergy, Rome is making fairly explicit statements via various informal, but authoritative spokespersons that it has no objection to this, in fact it believes that the Anglican position might act as a useful stalking horse to allow Roman Clergy to marry if they so desire.
The proposals are , as yet, unofficial
but insiders are saying that the leaking of the proposals are being deliberately engineered from the highest authorities in order to prepare the way for radical change. “Many of our differences have been worked through by the ARCIC process” Msgr Coverner has been quoted as saying.
However it is early days, and the most difficult sticking point between the two Communities has yet to be resolved. This may make real progress very difficult in the last analysis. Msg Coverner made things quite clear. Speaking on behalf of the new Pope, he said, “We are prepared to move on issues regarding marriage and possibly gender, even on the thorny matter of Gay clergy, however, we will not be moved on the Malvinas” It is reported that Lambeth are likely to be equally intransigent. It is yet to be seen if these proposals see any real progress in uniting the two communities.