London: Two Church of England bishops say they have travelled to the Vatican for exploratory talks about joining the Catholic Church.
The bishop of Fulham and the bishop of Richborough said they and a third bishop travelled to Rome to speak with Catholic officials.
The Sunday Telegraph said that the bishops had told the Vatican they were ready to defect, but Rev Keith Newton, the bishop of Richborough, said that was not true.
He said he and his colleagues were in Rome for "nothing more than exploratory talks" and that no decision had been made.
Pope Benedict XVI raised hackles among many here when he invited disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church en masse.
The issue threatens to overshadow his coming visit to Britain.