There are times in life when a visit is ill timed and best could be delayed to a more appropriate time, but Pope Benedict XVI is not delaying his trip to England to meet with bishops of the Church of England. Even as he prepared to leave Italy, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church let loose some bluntly critical remarks concerning behavior of the Irish Catholic Church regarding cases of sexual abuse of children. He said leaders of the Irish Catholic Church had lost “all credibility” and the events represented a “colossal trauma” for all involved in church leadership. His comments were greeted with scorn by Irish Catholic leaders. “Those working for renewal in the Catholic Church do not need this comment on the Easter weekend and do not deserve it.” If not now, when?
Rowan Williams does not expect many Anglicans do be attracted by offers from the Pope and returning to the bosom of the Catholic faith. This is not the right time for Catholics to reach out to other Christians and seek their return to the Church. Another time, another leadership, might result in a different reaction.