LONDON, APRIL 21, 2005 (Zenit.org). - For the first time since the Reformation, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury plans to attend the solemn start of a pontificate -- that of Benedict XVI this Sunday in Rome.
Lambeth Palace's press office revealed that Rowan Williams plans to attend the inauguration in St. Peter's Square. It said that the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity indicated its "great delight" that he will be attending.
The Anglican archbishop indicated that he will again be wearing the ring presented to his predecessor, Michael Ramsey, by Pope Paul VI and a pectoral cross presented to him by John Paul II.
Dr. Williams will travel to Rome on Saturday. Earlier this week, the archbishop of Canterbury offered his best wishes and prayers for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on his election as successor to Pope John Paul II.
"We wish Pope Benedict XVI every blessing in the immense responsibilities he is about to assume on behalf of Roman Catholics round the world," said Dr. Williams. "I look forward to meeting him and working together to build on the legacy of his predecessor, as we seek to promote shared understanding between our Churches in the service of the Gospel and the goal of Christian unity."