Anglicans consider RC conversion

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The Independent Online
LEADERS of the opposition to women priests in the Church of England yesterday met the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Basil Hume, to sound out the possibilities for a mass conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, writes Andrew Brown.

Dr Graham Leonard, the former Bishop of London, along with two prominent Anglo-Catholic clerical leaders, Fr Christopher Colven and Fr Peter Geldard, visited Archbishop's House in Westminster in advance of the Church of England's General Synod meeting, which starts today.

They are expected to make a statement at a meeting of disaffected members of the General Synod who plan to stage a walk- out on Wednesday morning.

Cardinal Hume, leader of the 3.6 million Catholics of England and Wales, issued a statement after the meeting saying: 'Visible unity will be a gift from God. Now is an important moment in that process. It has come upon us in an unexpected way. I have spoken with several members of the Church of England who want to explore the possibility of full communion with the Holy See.

'I believe the Holy See will be sympathetic towards meeting the very real pastoral needs of those who wish to accept the authority of the Holy Father.'

Monsignor Philip Carroll, the secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said that much speculation was premature: 'The Cardinal has not been negotiating any deals at all.'