By restating the long-held view of the Roman Catholic Church on the position of other Christian churches, this document breaks no new ground. But neither does it fully reflect the deeper understanding that has been achieved through ecumenical dialogue and co-operation during the past thirty years. Even though the document is not part of that process, the idea that Anglican and other churches are not "proper churches" seems to question the considerable ecumenical gains we have made.
It is important that we recognise and celebrate ecumenical progress. It is a task to which I remain fully committed on behalf of both the Church of England and the world-wide Anglican Communion. It is one I shall continue to pursue with both Roman Catholic and other church leaders on the basis of deep mutual respect.
Indeed, at an important meeting of senior Anglicans and Roman Catholics in Toronto, earlier this year, which I chaired jointly with Cardinal Cassidy, we made striking advances in acknowledging substantial agreement on a range of issues and in proposing a new Joint Unity Commission to carry things forward.
Of course, the Church of England, and the world-wide Anglican Communion, does not for one moment accept that its orders of ministry and Eucharist are deficient in any way. It believes itself to be a part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Christ, in whose name it serves and bears witness, here and round the world.