February ~ 2013 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
The future of Anglican-Roman Catholic relations is, in part, down to who will succeed Pope Benedict, according to the archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See.
Responding to today’s surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Very Rev. David Richardson said the implications for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations in the long term “will depend on who is elected to succeed him.”
However, Richardson, who is also director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said that other relationships continue despite the change in leadership.
In a surprise announcement, this morning Pope Benedict XVI informed the cardinals gathered in Consistory that he has decided to resign effective February 28 for health reasons. The resignation apparently surprised even his closest of aides. The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415 during the Council of Constance as a means of resolving the Western Schism. The Vatican expects a conclave will elect the next pope before the end of March. According to the BBC, Benedict XVI is not expected to take part in the conclave to elect his successor. The Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, announced that Benedict would retire to Castel Gandolfo after his resignation. More details are expected in the coming weeks.