"That's agreed then. You take Tina Beattie off our hands, and we'll take Giles Fraser."
Initially, the joint statement from the pope and archbishop was going to be an admission of defeat, namely:
1. We promise to stop burning and beheading each other from now on. 2. We shall carry on disagreeing about almost everything. 3. Er... 4. That's it. How about a cup of tea?
An early attempt at Catholic-Protestant dialogue.
However, a deeper search for possible common ground revealed the following points of agreement:
1. Some Catholics think women should be ordained. So do some Anglicans. 2. Some Catholics are happy with same-sex marriage, including for priests. So are some Anglicans. 3. Some Catholics are atheists. So are some Anglicans. 4. Some Catholics are fine with abortion. So are some Anglicans. 5. Some Catholics are demented lunatics with no moral principles whatsoever. So are some Anglicans.
"So you'll wear the white vestments this week, and then next week it's my turn."
As for the liturgical differences that some commentators thought an insuperable barrier to union... well, clown masses, bad vestments, puppets, skateboards, communion in plastic cups, hymns that sound like bad pop songs, children sitting on the altar, balloons, masses where pets are invited, and fancy dress... are all welcome in any church. Or so it seems.
"Just remind me. Am I a Catholic, a Protestant, or a family entertainer?
So that's all right, then.