The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has been complaining that his successor, Rowan Williams was not "officially" informed about the Holy Father's initiative, until Cardinal Levada visited him two weeks before the announcement, he urges him to complain.
Ever since Carey's retirement he has been a thorn in Williams's flesh.
Williams was not "officially" informed before he was officially told what the Supreme Pastor had decided to do, it is the difference between Catholicism and Anglicanism. It is of passing interest that the Holy Father also seemed to have by-passed Cardinal Kaspar and given the delay for the summer vacation, when the the Vatican dicasteries close down, he seemed to have waited until the appointment of Archbishop Nichols.
It is an open rumour that those Anglican bishops involved in talks with the Holy See, mainly the CDF, were expecting an announcement following Easter this year. Judging from the speeches of Cardinal Kaspar, remember "spiritual Alzheimer's" and of Cardinal Murphy O'Connor in May at the 2009 Anglican Synod, it was pretty obvious the Holy See was going to make a serious offer of some sort of accommodation to those "catholic" Anglican's who felt they were being rejected by there own communion.
The announcement last Tuesday should not be a shock to anyone. The Catholic Church always welcomes conversions, reconcilliations, call them what you will. The new initiative of the "Pope of Ecumenism" is that though it welcomes individuals, even Anglican bishops - how I welcome the reports regarding the local Anglican Bishop of Chichester, John Hind, -the real thrust and change that this document brings about is that it welcomes "churches", bishops together with their clergy and people. It is aimed primarily, not at England despite the Pope's obvious interest in England, the visit and Newman's beatification but at those communities in the Southern Cone, in the Americas and Australasia, possibly Africa, where diocese have already opted out, to a greater or lesser degree, of communion with a women's and openly homosexual ordaining Anglican Communion.
I like the way the Pope sets his face to a theological idea and then expects canonists to follow it with the relevant legislation, which he did with the freeing of the Traditional Mass. This is going to be a little more complicated. The theology must be that those seeking communion with the Church must want that - Communion - in its fullest sense. What the Pope appears to be offering however is a home for those who can no longer live within Anglicanism.
Do we really want homophobic, misogynistic ex-Anglican's, many of whom do not believe "all the Catholic Church teaches to be revealed by God", whose personal sexual morality might not be in exact conformity with the Catholic teaching, coming en masse into the Catholic Church? For a Pope so against Relativism, the legal solution will be very interesting. Possible we are a looking at a process of Communion rather than a single act - interesting.