Between fear and hope

The honorary head of the Anglican world communion, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, has expressed cautious optimism about resolving his church's crisis. "Slowly there is a growing sense that we will be better off if we stay together," Williams said at Lambeth conference in Canterbury.

At the same time, it welcomed calls for structural reform. A task force of senior bishops had proposed, among other things, the creation of a kind of Anglican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The intra-Anglican conflicts over authority and morality ies are not least a structural ie, Williams said. "We are neither a federation, nor a church like the Roman Catholic – we must clarify what we are." Williams had set up the "Windsor Continuation Group" in February. The aim was to analyze the structures in the Anglican Communion with its 38 ecclesiastical provinces. These are independent in their legal determination. The findings are currently being presented at the Lambeth Conference. The Anglican world communion's main advisory body meets only once every ten years. This year's conference comes amid threats of a split in the Anglican Communion of some 78 million faithful worldwide. Background are disputes about the ordination of homosexuals and women as bishops. More than 200 conservative bishops, mostly from African countries, are boycotting the conference in protest of what they see as too much liberalization of the Anglican Church. Cardinal: Anglicans need to clarify their understanding of church The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, has called on Anglicans to clarify their understanding of the church. Currently, the ecumenical process is stalled, he said Friday at an ecumenism meeting of the Lambeth Conference of Anglicans in Canterbury. He cited increasing cases of women being ordained bishops and moral ies as reasons. "Our future dialogue will not be easier until the fundamental ies are resolved with greater clarity," cardinal says. He cited Anglicans' lack of clarity about their own church structure as the real problem: "Is it a loose federation with a kind of family sense or a more closed body with trained structures of authority?"Clarification could help find a line on moral ies as well, he said.

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