BY A STAFF REPORTER 1)100PE PAUL'S remarks at Geneva last week should not affect the prospect of Catholics in Britain joining their local Councils of Churches, says Fr. Herbert Keldany, secretary of the Westminster Archdeacon Ecumenical Commission.
The Pope, during his visit to the World Council of Churches headquarters, said that the question of Catholic membership of the World Council was not, he considered, mature enough to allow for or demand a positive answer.
Fr. Keldany told the CATHOLIC HERALD this week that the Pope had not said that he had been invited to join and refused. What he said was that the question of joining had been speculated on, and he required more time and preparation.
"It may seem subtle," said Fr. Keldany, "but I am anxious to get the emphasis right because a misunderstanding could influence the prospects of Catholics in Britain joining their local Councils of Churches or even the British Council of Churches."
"GOOD PROGRESS" "Many Catholics had in the past few years joined their local councils, and some had been full members and even officers," Fr. Keldany added. Good progress had been made at the national level, and "a day may come when, instead of being observers, we may bc invited to become full mem hers.
-It would therefore," Fr. Keldany continued, "be a pity if this disappointment (over Catholic membership of the World Council) is allowed to make the qualified statement of the Pope a deterrent to those who might be hesitating to join locally.
"The hope of those who already work with and in the British Council of Churches is that, as more come to play their part, it will be easier for to become full members, and it would be sad if this process were to be reversed because elsewhere people are not yet in the same happy position."