NCR: Church of England's Impending Ordination of Women Bishops Poses Ecumenical Challenge

During his tenure as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper commented in 2006 that such a move would “call into question what was recognized by the Second Vatican Council (Unitatis Redintegratio, 13), that the Anglican Communion occupied ”˜a special place’ among churches and ecclesial communities of the West.” Cardinal Kasper warned that “restoration of full church communion ”¦ would realistically no longer exist following the introduction of the ordination of women to episcopal office.”

Speaking to the Register, Father Tony Currer, secretary to the Anglican and Methodist dialogues at the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said that while the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) has made great strides in addressing theological differences, two issues have emerged “which make progress towards full visible unity extremely difficult.”

“The first concerns the ordination of women; the second is that of human sexuality and ethical teaching,” he commented. “It has to be admitted that it is extremely difficult to see a way forward on these issues at the moment.”

Father Currer added that the Church’s dialogue is with the whole Anglican Communion, not only the Church of England. Many elements of that communion are acting similarly to the Church of England on these issues, he said, “which constitutes a very significant obstacle to the full visible unity that we continue to seek.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops