The chairperson of the governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Bishop Stephen Platten, has invited the Roman Catholic Church to use its authority in a more collegial way, and to allow more freedom of expression in theological dialogue.
"Catholics says Anglicans do not have a clear enough structure on authority, and I agree that there are areas it ought to be better. But I also believe the Catholic Church should exercise its authority in a much more collegial way," Platten, the Anglican bishop of Wakefield in England, told Ecumenical News International on October 21. "Many Anglicans would be pleased to have a central figure -- just like the Pope -- in the church, but they want its role to be more collegial also."
During a two-day visit to Hong Kong October 20-21, Platten held a seminar at St. John's Anglican Cathedral, briefing some 50 Anglicans and Catholics about the ecumenical mission of the Anglican Centre in Rome.
Platten emphasized there were many positive factors in Anglican-Catholic dialogue, but there are also some difficulties. "I believe the tradition of faith could be better understood if people were allowed to have reasonable dialogue theologically in the Christian community," Platten said. "We would like to see much more freedom of expression."
Platten said the Anglican Centre in Rome would be a vital instrument to promote the growing relationship between Anglicans and Catholics. He offered thanks for the support coming from the Catholic side, from church leaders, communities and individuals.
He also said there would be a series of celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the founding of the center from November, including an exhibition and an ecumenical course on Anglican-Catholic relationships.
The Rome Centre was set up in 1966 with the encouragement of Pope Paul VI and the Rev. Michael Ramsey, then Archbishop of Canterbury.