.- Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Vatican's Council for Christian Unity, told the Church of England that to consecrate women as “bishops” would make unity "unreachable" and shared Communion impossible, reported The London Times.
Cardinal Kasper has urged the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and his fellow bishops not to proceed towards attempting to ordain women bishops without support from the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.
Cardinal Kasper made his statement at a private meeting this week of the Church of England's bishops at Market Bosworth, Leicestershire.
He made clear that while the Catholic Church would not break off talks with Anglicans, the tone of ecumenical dialogue would change and future talks would no longer have unity as their goal.
"Ecumenical dialogue in the true sense of the word has as its goal the restoration of full Church Communion. That has been the presupposition of our dialogue until now. That presupposition would realistically no longer exist following the introduction of the ordination of women to episcopal office," he reportedly said.
Above all, all hopes of intercommunion would end. "The shared partaking of the one Lord's table, which we long for so earnestly, would disappear into the far and ultimately unreachable distance,” Kasper said, “instead of moving towards one another we would coexist alongside one another."
This autumn, Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Williams are expected to announce the third round of talks under the auspices of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.