Welby asks Catholic and Orthodox churches to maintain solidarity

Letter seeking support

The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked the Catholic and Orthodox Churches not to give up on the Church of England after its vote to ordain women as bishops, reports The Tablet.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to reassure other Churches that the Church of England is continuing on its 'quest' for unity after concern and dismay was expressed about the decision to ordain women bishops.

Archbishop Justin Welby said Churches 'need each other.' He said that the vote at General Synod last week was an 'occasion of deep rejoicing for many,' although 'a source of disappointment and concern' for others.

He acknowledged that, while some Anglican churches would welcome the result of the vote, 'we are also aware that our other ecumenical partners may find this a further difficulty on the journey towards full communion' and that dialogue now faced 'new challenges.'

But Archbishop Welby emphasised that with 'so much troubling our world today,' common witness to the Gospel was of greater importance than ever.

Catholic Archbishop Bernard Longley, chairman of the international Anglican-Catholic dialogue body Arcic, said last week that the decision 'sadly places a further obstacle' on the path to unity, but added that the bishops were still committed to ecumenical dialogue.

FULL STORY Welby asks Catholic and Orthodox Churches not to give up on C of E after women bishops vote (The Tablet)

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