Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams

The Archbishop of Canterbury is meeting the Pope in Rome amid tensions over the Vatican’s offer to welcome disenchanted Anglicans into the Catholic fold.

Pope Benedict’s proposal would allow Anglicans to convert while preserving many of their traditions and practices.

The archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams, has said he does not believe the initiative will harm relations.

However, some Anglicans have accused the Pope of interfering at a sensitive time for the Church of England.

The Vatican says its invitation came in response to pleas from Anglicans unhappy about the creation of women bishops.

BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said: “Dr Williams says he accepts it was not intended to poach clergy or undermine relations.