LONDON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Senior officials within the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches have agreed on a proposal for the churches to reunited, The Times of London reported.
The proposal calls for the churches to come together under the leadership of the pope, the newspaper said, citing a 42-page statement prepared by an internal commission of both churches that urges Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore how they might reunite.
The statement is being considered by the Vatican, where Catholic bishops are preparing a formal response, the newspaper said.
The Anglican Church, which split from Rome in the 16th century, has an estimated 78 million members worldwide. The Roman Catholic Church has an estimated 1 billion members, the Times said.
The reunification proposal comes as archbishops who lead the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania amid tension over a possible schism within its own ranks on issues of gay ordination and a range of other liberal practices that are gaining acceptance within the church.