Letter: Christian consciences on the road to Rome

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article 'Appeal of Rome amid Anglican internal row' (7 February) is less than helpful to the cause of Christianity in its broad-brush approach. It won't do to imply that all those considering the Roman option are among either a 'few traditionalists' or a 'tiny, but noisy group'.

I know from my pastoral dealings within this diocese that there are many people and clergy who are quietly wrestling with their consciences over the matter and are facing deep pain. They are not helped by being told not to dither, for they are not simply looking for a refuge, and they are certainly not out to create 'maximum disruption' for the Church of England.

Second, to say that ordinary Anglicans are united in their dislike for Rome is to put it too strongly. While a large majority would probably not contemplate submission to the See of Peter, there is, I believe, generally much goodwill and growing friendship between our churches. It is unlikely that either the issue of women's ordination or the excesses of journalists and malcontents will ultimately prevent our continuing co-operation.

Yours faithfully,


(Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth)

Fareham, Hampshire

7 February