Catholic Cardinal Walter Kasper on Wednesday afternoon touched on two of the hot button issues rankling the Anglican Communion of late–women’s ordination and sexuality. Due to recent developments, he stated, “dialogue has taken a step backwards” between the two Churches.
“Our dialogue has been made dynamic by the desire to remain faithful to the will expressed by Christ that his disciples should all be one” so that “the world may believe,” Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, said on Wednesday afternoon.
The cardinal noted that these efforts at dialogue have been “based on the Gospel and on our ancient common traditions” and motivated by “fidelity to Christ.”
And yet, “now it seems that full and visible communion as the goal of our dialogue has taken a step backwards,” Cardinal Kasper lamented.
According to the Catholic prelate, two questions are creating tension between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church: “the ordination of women and human sexuality.” The teaching of the Catholic Church on human sexuality and in particular on homosexuality, said Kasper, is “firmly based on the Old and New Testament,” and what is “at stake is fidelity to Holy Scripture and to the apostolic tradition.”
Cardinal Kasper closed his speech by expressing the concern of the Catholic Church over the divisions currently appearing in the Anglican Communion.
“Our acute consciousness of the greatness and considerable depth of the Christian culture of your tradition increases our concern for you in relation to your current problems and crises, but it also gives us confidence in the fact that, with God’s help, you will find a way out of these difficulties and that in a new way we shall be strengthened in our common pilgrimage towards the unity that Jesus Christ wishes for us and for which he prays.”