THE Bishop of London, Dr Graham Leonard, has dismissed suggestions that divisions in the Anglican church between traditionalists and reformists, exposed by his American trip, have damaged ecumenism.
"I don't think that my action has either helped or hindered it", said Dr Leonard on the eve of this week's General Synod in London, which discussed the status of the Pope in any united church.
"In the long run", said Dr Leonard, "the future of our relationship with the Roman Catholic church will focus on the issue of authority."
Dr Leonard denied he had been "carpeted" by the
Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Runcie, after conducting a confirmation service last month at the church of Rev John Pasco, deposed by the Bishop of Oklahoma for alleged financial irregularities.
An underlying factor in the minister's dismissal is said to be his opposition to the ordination of women, of which Dr Leonard is a vociferous critic.
Dr Leonard said he had a duty to be "guardian of the faith" and said that majority rule was displacing consensus in the Anglican church as a means of identifying doctrine.
Dr Leonard's comments provoked Dr Runcie to accuse him of preventing a healing of the Church split.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the General Synod debated the Church of England's response to the final report of the Anglican Roman Catholic International
Commission, narrowly accepted by the House of Laity on Monday. Full report next week.