BY LUKE COPPEN
CARDINAL Cormac MurphyO'Connor has paid tribute to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, who announced his retirement this week.
The Archbishop of Westminster said that Dr Carey had suffered difficulties during his spell as leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, but had emerged a man of great integrity, zeal and courage.
The Cardinal said: "Archbishop George Carey and I are good friends and I have appreciated very much our collaboration in ecumenical endeavour.
"Dr Carey has had to live through some difficult times as Archbishop of Canterbury. As leader of the Anglican Communion he emerged as someone of immense integrity, zeal and considerable courage.
"I am sure there will be very many, like myself, who will express their appreciation of his considerable achievements in a most demanding role and who will miss him when he steps down as archbishop."
Dr Carey announced his resignation on Tuesday, 11 years after he became the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Carey, who is from the evangelical wing of the Church of England, devoted considerable energy to improving relations between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church. He met frequently with Pope John Paul II and was a regular guest of Cardinal Basil Hume, the late Archbishop of Westminster.
However, relations between the two communions were ruptured in 1993, just two years into Dr Carey's term as Archbishop of Canterbury, when the General Synod of the Church of England voted to ordain women priests. The Archbishop also angered some Catholics by his repeated calls for Anglicans to be allowed to receive Holy Communion in Catholic churches. There was an outcry in May 1998, when he appealed to the Pope in a sermon at Luxembourg's Catholic cathedral, to permit full intercommunion in the Jubilee Year.
Dr Carey was undaunted by criticism and worked hard for a thaw in relations between Anglicans and Catholics. In January 2000, he knelt beside the Pope during the opening of the Holy Door of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. In May of the same year, he attended a ground-breaking meeting of Anglican and Catholic bishops in Mississauga, Canada.
In June 2001, Dr Carey had an upbeat meeting with Pope John Paul II in Rome. Afterwards he told Vatican Radio that he and the Pope examined how to deepen the relations between Anglicans and Catholics.
"We intend to find new ways to strengthen our bonds with gradual work on practical questions that eventually, I firmly believe, will lead us to that unity we all desire," he said.
Feature — p5