July 31, 2008

Cardinal Warns Anglicans on Female Priests

A Roman Catholic cardinal told Anglican bishops at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England, that ordaining women is a barrier to uniting the churches.

Cardinal Walter Kaspar, head of the Vatican Council on Christian Unity, spoke at a closed session Monday, The Times of London reported. Although Kaspar addressed the bishops in English, the Vatican published the text only in Italian in its official newspaper, Osservatore Romano.

Kaspar said that the joint inheritance of the Anglican and Catholic churches is worthy of being consulted and protected.

In his speech, the cardinal also said the Vatican still holds that homosexuality is disordered.

The Church of England recently voted to consecrate female bishops, following the lead of the Episcopal Church in the United States and more recently the Australian church. While the debate within the Anglican Communion on homosexuality has attracted more attention, ordination of women and women's consecration also divides Anglicans from each other and from Catholics.