Anglicans and Roman Catholic leaders in May released a consensus statement on the papacy, saying it is "a gift to be received by all the churches."
Drafted by the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, the Gift of Authority statement is the third of its kind to address the issue of papal authority.
Archbishop of Canterbury George L. Carey says recognizing the pope's role as a spiritual leader is an urgent task for Christians. "In a world torn apart by violence and division, Christians need urgently to be able to speak with a common voice, confident of the authority of the gospel of peace," Carey declared. He urged Anglicans to give "most serious consideration and debate" to the study paper.
Evangelical Anglicans rejected the assertion that the pope is an authority for their worship. Mark Birchall of the Church of England Evangelical Council told London's Daily Telegraph that the document "speaks as if the Bishop of Rome has always been on the side of the angels, while it is well known that for several centuries past the Bishop of Rome was certainly not."
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