The Vatican officially suspended the Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue on Tuesday, as a consequence of the ordination of a homosexual bishop within the Anglican Communion.
A statement released by the Holy See’s press office reveals that “on Tuesday, November 25, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, met in the Vatican with Reverend Canon John L. Paterson, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council.”
The future of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue was discussed during the meeting, “especially in light of recent developments within the life of the Anglican Communion,” the statement says.
“As a result of the conversation, it was decided that the next plenary session of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) and its work towards the publication and reception of a Common Statement of Faith would have to be put on hold.”
The statement concludes by saying: “Cardinal Kasper has welcomed the request of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, that appropriate means be found to reflect jointly upon the ecclesiological issues raised by recent developments within Anglican Communion in the light of the relevant Agreed Statements of ARCIC (Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission).”
London’s Daily Telegraph announced yesterday that the Vatican was preparing to suspend unity talks with the Anglican Church following a final meeting in the New Year.
That final meeting was only rescued by the resignation this past weekend of the senior Anglican participant in the unity talks, Bishop Frank Griswold, who split the Anglican Church last month by leading the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, said the newspaper.
Bishop Griswold announced his resignation in a letter to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, “in which he acknowledged the strain that the consecration had ‘caused in the relationship between the Holy See and the Anglican Communion’,” said the British newspaper.
In October, the Pope and other cardinals warned the Archbishop of Canterbury during his visit that the issue of homosexuality would jeopardize church relations.
The suspension of these talks delays an historic process begun in the 1960s by Pope Paul VI and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, said the Telegraph.
According to London’s Telegraph, Bishop Griswold, “who had been the Anglican co-chairman of ARCIC for two years, was deeply committed to the talks, but he nevertheless ignored pleas for him to distance himself from the consecration.”