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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 18:30 GMT
Church heads hail joint meeting
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor and Dr Rowan Williams
The two archbishops will be joined by 70 of their bishops
The heads of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches in England have opened an "historic" two-day meeting.

The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac O'Connor, and Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, declared themselves "committed to dialogue".

In a statement, the archbishops said the meeting showed "warm relations" had developed between the churches.

But they added that they would be "honest in addressing issues on which we disagree".

It is the first time bishops from both churches have held such a meeting, which is being staged in Leeds.

Earlier this month Dr Williams and Cardinal Murphy O'Connor jointly spoke of the role religion could play in improving social inclusion.

'Partners in mission'

Writing in the foreword to a report by a religious think tank, the archbishops criticised those who campaigned against faith being a part of public life.

Bishops from both churches joined forces in 2005 to lobby Parliament when a private member's bill to legalise assisted suicide was debated by the House of Lords.

In their statement ahead of the conference, Dr Williams and Cardinal Murphy O'Connor spoke of their interest in spreading a "shared Christian witness to our society."

"It underlines our responsibility to work together as partners in mission and service to the people of our country", they added.




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