Radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope are to be published this year, The Times has learnt.
The proposals have been agreed by senior bishops of both churches.
In a 42-page statement prepared by an international commission of both churches, Anglicans and Roman Catholics are urged to explore how they might reunite under the Pope.
The statement, leaked to The Times, is being considered by the Vatican, where Catholic bishops are preparing a formal response.
It comes as the archbishops who lead the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in an attempt to avoid schism over gay ordination and other liberal doctrines that have taken hold in parts of the Western Church.
The 36 primates at the gathering will be aware that the Pope, while still a cardinal, sent a message of support to the orthodox wing of the Episcopal Church of the US as it struggled to cope with the fallout after the ordination of the gay bishop Gene Robinson.
Were this week’s discussions to lead to a split between liberals and conservatives, many of the former objections in Rome to a reunion with Anglican conservatives would disappear. Many of those Anglicans who object most strongly to gay ordination also oppose the ordination of women priests.
Rome has already shown itself willing to be flexible on the subject of celibacy when it received dozens of married priests from the Church of England into the Catholic priesthood after they left over the issue of women’s ordination.
A HISTORIC artefact has been found within the grounds of the church ruins in Temple, with those who made the discovery believing it may be part of a Knight Templar slab.
The fascinating find was made by Chevalier Archie Young and Chevalier Robert Hunter,. who are both Scottish Knights Templar of the Commandery of Jacques de Molay 1314, a group which aims to promote Scotland’s history and preserve culture, tradition and heritage.
In the 12th century Temple was the headquarters of the Knights Templar, a Christian military order, in Scotland and both men were keen to visit the county as part of a project.
Chevalier Young said: “I was drawn to what looked like an insignificant little stone lying within the old ruined church. I took a photo of it and when I zoomed in on it on my computer at home I thought I could see a date on it.
“The stone was obviously covered in lichen and was fairly hard to make out so I used a paint package on my computer and was amazed when I revealed what is called a Floral Cross.
“I immediately called Chevalier Hunter to tell him and we both agreed that it may be a Knights Templar Baculus — the staff of office for either a Knight or an Abbot.”
Chevalier Young, who lives in Gilmerton, then called in the experts and local archaeologist David Connolly reported that the stone may be from between the 13th and 15th centuries.
The stone has now been passed on to Historic Scotland for further tests to determine the exact date of it and whether it is from Temple originally.
Chevalier Young added: “If the stone dates as 13th to 14th century then by all means this is part of a Knight Templar slab. If it is a later date then it will be a Knight of St John (Hospitaller). It is a remarkable discovery for the area and especially for a little church.”
in, Midlothian Today.