Update: The Archbishop of Canterbury has now met privately with Pope Benedict in Rome; discussed Benedict’s "impression of his visit" to the U.S.

BB UPDATE: While writing the initial post, we all ready have an update, with an interview with Rowan Williams while on his way to meet Pope Benedict in Rome. From here:

On his way to the Vatican he told Philippa Hitchen what he hoped to discuss the Pope:

Well it’ll be a fairly informal and low key meeting: I hope to bring him up to date on our plans about the Lambeth conference, perhaps to discuss with him a little what’s going to be happening at the conference this week at Palazzola and just touch base with him about China, the initiatives we’re involved in with regard to the churches in China.

Can you give us any more clues about the initiatives you’re talking about, given Pope Benedict’s concern for the church in that part of the world?

We’re been trying to build relationships with scholars of religious studies in China, we brought a group over a little while ago to meet some British theologians and that was very constructive so it’s really a question of keeping the door open for something more than polite exchanges but more real theological dialogue.

You’re here for the instalment of the new director of the Anglican centre, to begin a new phase of the relationship between the Holy See and your representative to the Vatican. Some would say this is perhaps the most difficult moment of the relationship since the Anglican centre was founded in the wake of the Second Vatican council – would you agree with that assessment?

It depends where you’re looking from. I think that in terms of the conflicts within the Anglican communion then yes, it’s an unprecedentedly difficult time, no two ways about that. The other side of the story is that, partly because of the work of the previous couple of directors, especially Bishop John Flack, tremendously deep foundations have been laid of personal trust and confidence and in terms of ease of access and honesty of discussion, I think we’re in a very good phase and I’m absolutely confident the new director will be building on that”.

BB NOTE: The full-length interview is available from the Vatican Radio. Here is the the first report on the meeting between Rowan Williams and the Pope from here:

The Vatican said the Pope had received Rowan Williams in a private audience but gave no details.

An Anglican spokesman said the two spoke privately for about 20 minutes and discussed Christian-Muslim relations, inter-faith dialogue and the Pope’s impression of his visit to the United States last month.

He described the visit, the second official meeting between the Pope and the spiritual leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans, as “warm and friendly”.

Read the rest here.