Pope Decries Anglican Women Bishops

 — Dec. 24, 198824 déc. 1988

[Los Angeles Times] Pope John Paul II reiterated this week that the ordination of women in the Anglican Church poses “serious obstacles” to relations with the Roman Catholic Church.

In a year-end address to cardinals, the Pope, speaking with “sincere pain,” deplored a resolution adopted by the world’s Anglican bishops in August.

The Anglican bishops voted 423 to 28 with 19 abstentions to maintain links with any of their 27 self-governing churches that consecrate a woman bishop, even if they disagree with the practice. The measure was a compromise to avoid dividing the Anglican Communion on the issue.

John Paul said the action “poses serious obstacles to that progress in reciprocal reconciliation, which in the course of recent decades has arrived at such promising results.”

The Pope had previously spoken out against the ordination of women in the Anglican Communion during a message July 20 to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. John Paul warned then of “new problems” that could upset the path of Christian unity, a reference Vatican sources interpreted as referring to women’s ordination.

The late Pope Paul VI and the late Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey committed themselves in 1966 to the search for full communion between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. John Paul has reaffirmed the commitment.

He called on the Anglicans to try to avoid the “painful and deplorable consequences” to relations with the Catholic Church and inside the Anglican Communion. He said the resolution failed to consider the ecumenical dimensions of ordaining women priests.

While the Church of England does not ordain women, some of the 27 independent provinces around the world do. In September, the Boston diocese elected the Rev. Barbara C. Harris a bishop, and the 118-diocese U.S. Episcopal Church is expected to approve her ordination.

In a document issued in September, John Paul reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women priests.

At the same time, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued a statement that said Harris’ election “will increase our difficulties in an unlimited way” and that the presence of Anglican female bishops would be “a hindrance to (the) process of reconciliation, one we want to see go forward” between the two faiths.

In his year-end address, the Pope said a second cloud over the church this year was “the vain attempt” to ward off a schism by traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

The Vatican excommunicated the French prelate after he consecrated four bishops without papal approval in June. John Paul said the church has the “serene knowledge” of having done all it could do avoid the break, the first major schism in more than a century.

Posted: Dec. 24, 1988 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=6410
Categories: NewsIn this article: Anglican Church of Canada, Catholic, John Paul II, ordination, women
Transmis : 24 déc. 1988 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=6410
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Anglican Church of Canada, Catholic, John Paul II, ordination, women

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