Some of my parishioners work in Rome, one with the EU another with a NGOs and another with the UN as a translator.
During the visit of the Rowan Williams to Rome I posted a story a few questions about the Anglican Eucharistic celebration at St Sabina. I was a little surprised by the furore that followed in the comments, so I was rather interested in the reaction “on the street” in Rome to the visit. Apparently there was more than a little horror and shock, even laughter at the appearance of female clergy in clerical dress at Evensong in S Maria Minerva. At S Sabina the Dominicans saw no problem, however the Jesuit Rector of the Gregorian fumed about the event in private and then at a public lecture a few days later erupted with fury and indignation, his concern mirrored many other Roman theologians and Catholic members of the English community at the confusion that was caused, apparently many of the parishioners at S Sabina received Holy Communion because they thought the event was a Catholic Mass, the parish’s normal vestments and vessels were used. The rite had all the appearance of being a Catholic Rite. The Rector in his comments seemed to mirror some of the stronger, and in my opinion more uncharitable comments on this blog.
As a footnote to this post: apparently a young Anglican in clerical dress and holding the hand of his girl friend was jeered at in the street. This is what happens when signs and symbols and confused, and when people do not quite understand what they are doing.
All that being said, those who heard William's lecture on the Rule of Benedict and Europe were much impressed, by his insight and intelligence. If you haven't yet, read it as a Christmas treat, it is as full of insight as his condemnation of the Bush/Blair involvement in the Middle East.