Comprehensive wrap up of several view points:
If you are going to pick a fight with anyone, it’s not a bad move to choose an opponent who is already weakened. And, for good measure, make him an Anglican whose sense of Christian charity and British manners will make him reluctant to counterpunch, at least in public.
From that point of view, then, Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Curia did well by choosing Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican Communion, as the man to tweak with a provocative initiative to lure away a good chunk of Williams’ flock.
The plan, unveiled Tuesday at the Vatican, would allow Anglicans to join the Catholic Church without renouncing their Anglican traditions and beliefs. It would offer a tempting sanctuary to traditionalist Anglicans who have been upset with the acceptance of women bishops by the Church of England and openly gay clergy by the Episcopal Church, which is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion.
The plan represents an extraordinary concession by Rome. Even married clergy could bring their wives along and remain priests (though married bishops could not be Catholic bishops, just ordinary clerics). Those are perks Rome has never made for other groups, and does not seem inclined to provide for members of its own flock who would like to adopt traditions like a married clergy.
In common parlance many would call such a move "sheep-stealing." The Times of London was even more direct: