The intrepid Andrea Tornielli, vaticanista of Il Giornale, and now travelling with His Holiness to World Youth Day, reports on his blog what Pope Benedict said about the Anglicans, whose communion is imploding.
My translation and emphases:
Benedict XVI is "near" to the Anglican bishops in prayer, and hopes that they can avoid "new fractures" and schisms, after the contested decision of the Church of England, bulwark of Anglican tradition, to admit women to the episcopate. During the long flight taking him to Sydney, where he will arrive this morning for the 23rd World Youth Day, Papa Ratzinger met with 43 journalists who went with him. For the first time the Pontiff, responding to a question, spoke about the debate underway in the Anglican Church: in the last days the synod of York opened the way to ordination of women bishops and the Anglican communion – which gathers on 16 July in the Lambeth Conference – is shot through with threats of schism on the part of the more traditional communities which do not accept the decision. Three Anglican bishops had contacts with chief officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asking to be admitted to the Catholic Church. The Vatican response stradled the fence, given that the problems to be faced are many, and that the prelates who are asking to enter into communion with Rome will be asked in turn to accept Catholic doctrine in its entirety. "My essential contribution," the Pope said speaking of the upcoming general meeting of the Anglican Church, "can only be through prayer, and my prayer will be very near to the Anglican bishops who are meeting. We cannot and we ought not," he added, "intervene directly in their discussions, we respect their responsibility". Benedict XVI then explained, "The desire is that they can avoid new fractures and that a solution can be found in their responsibility before our age and the Gospel. The two things must go together. Contemporary Christianity must make present the whole message of Christ and add their own contribution being faithful to this message. We hope," the Pope said again, "they find together the way to make present the Gospel in our time, this is my good wish for the Anglican communion."
What is going on in this answer?
The Pope is not remaining indifferent. Nor is he slipping into indifferentism.
When he speaks of our responsibility to the Gospel, he is surely referring to the Lord’s own words both when He gave His own authority to Peter, and His desire that His disciples by "one".
He is surely talking about the need for unity among Christians today in the face of the erosion of Western identity.
Luigi Accattoli is saying that they have touched down at Darwin to refuel, etc. The journalists can’t leave the plane before they continue another four hours to Sydney. He used the moment to update his blog, and I assume that is what Tornielli did. Accattoli says the communication blackout from the plane was nearly total, though some journalists had managed to get some words out.
In the meantime, one has to wonder what His Holiness is reading. I think its The Wanderer, perusing the most recent WDTPRS article … perhaps catching up on the Catholic Herald. Yes… perhaps that’s it.