On 5 June 2006, Walter Card. Kasper, then-President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke to the Church of England members gathered for the Lambeth Conference. They were discussing, and were going to vote on, women bishops [aka wyshyps]. HERE
What did Kasper say?
“What follows from these conclusions and questions? What follows for the future of our ecumenical dialogue? One thing is certain: The Catholic Church will not break off the dialogue even in the case of such a decision. It will above all not break off the personal relationships and friendships which have developed over the past years and decades. But there is a difference between types of dialogue. The quality of the dialogue would be altered by such a decision. [We can still play skittles together and then go for a pint afterwards.]
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. [Sure, we can talk! Communion? That train has left the gate. Another pint?]
Following that action we could still come together for the sake of information and consultation; we could continue to discuss and attempt to clarify theological issues, to cooperate in many practical spheres and to give shared witness.
Above all we could unite in joint prayer and pray for one another. All of that is, God knows, not negligible. But the loss of the common goal would necessarily have an effect on such encounters and rob them of most of their élan and their internal dynamic. Above all — and this is the most painful aspect — the shared partaking of the one Lord’s table, which we long for so earnestly, would disappear into the far and ultimately unreachable distance. Instead of moving towards one another we would co-exist alongside one another.”
Surely this reflected the thought of the Pope of Christian Unity, Benedict XVI.
What Card. Kasper read at Lambeth is surely true. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and the Church of England can still pursue some common causes, such as… ecology!
And then there was Card Diaz, the-Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He also spoke at Lambeth back when. He told them then:
“Much is spoken today of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. By analogy, their symptoms can, at times, be found even in our own Christian communities. For example, when we live myopically in the fleeting present, oblivious of our past heritage and apostolic traditions, we could well be suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s. And when we behave in a disorderly manner, going whimsically our own way without any co-ordination with the head or the other members of our community, it could be ecclesial Parkinson’s.”
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and the Church of England can still pursue some common causes, such as… ecology!