On the occasion of the opening of the Lambeth Conference in England this evening, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian unity, expressed hope that the Anglican Communion would have a fruitful meeting that would prevent schism within the denomination.
The conference, which takes place every ten years, gathers representatives from dioceses of the Anglican Communion around the world under the honorary presidency of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
This year the Anglican Communion meets at the University of Kent's campus in Caterbury faced with the possibility of a historic split due to the ordination of the practicing homosexual bishop, Eugene Robinson, and the recent decision of British Anglicans to ordain women bishops.
After the latter decision, at least four Anglican bishops have expressed their desire to abandon the denomination and for the Roman Catholic Church.
Cardinal Kasper, who will join the meeting as an observer, released a statement saying, "my wish is that they may be able to keep the unity of the Anglican Communion, because no one can be interested in further divisions. The churches must be united, so that they are witnesses of the Gospel and may work together for peace and justice in the World."
The Lambeth summit opened Wednesday afternoon with a spiritual retreat led by Archbishop Williams. The discussions about the future of the Anglican Communion will start on Friday.
Around 230 Anglican bishops, some of whom attended a parallel conference in Jerusalem two weeks ago, are boycotting the Lambeth Conference.