January ~ 2015 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
While the consecration of the Church of England’s first woman bishop presents significant challenges in bringing Catholics and Anglicans into “closer communion,” ecumenical leaders say the door to dialogue remains open.
The consecration of Libby Lane as an Anglican bishop earlier this month creates a “further challenge to a hope of organic reunion”, said David Moxon, another Anglican bishop, in a Jan. 29 interview with CNA, reiterating concerns expressed by Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham.
Moxon and Archbishop Longley are co-chairs of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), which aims to advance ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.
In a Jan. 27 interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Longley, acknowledging the challenges presented by Lane’s Anglican episcopal consecration, stressed that it “shouldn’t affect the way in which the dialogue is continued.”
The Catholic archbishop of Birmingham says he wishes the Church of England’s first female bishop well in her ministry and will be remembering her in his prayers. Archbishop Bernard Longley is the Catholic co-chair of ARCIC, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. He told Vatican Radio that the consecration of Bishop Libby Lane on Monday was a “historic moment in the life of the Church of England” but noted that there has long been “the presence, the witness and the work of women” as bishops within the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Reverend Libby Lane was ordained in York Minister as the new Bishop of Stockport, after the Church of England voted to adopt legislation last November to allow women bishops. Archbishop Longley said that while the ordination of women presents challenges to the Anglican-Catholic dialogue, this latest development “shouldn’t affect the way in which the dialogue is continued”.