Pope Benedict is leading an unusual effort to heal a growing rift in the Anglican church over issues centered around allowing gays and females to become bishops. The Pope urged both sides in the conflict to find a “mature” solution to their problem in order to avoid a “schism” in the church. He dispatched three cardinals to serve as mediators and make clear the would not support the defection of conservative Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict is giving behind the scenes assistance to the Archbishop of Canterbury who is trying to keep traditionalists within the church.
Pope Benedict undoubtedly sides with traditionalists in their opposition to gay and female bishops but he is concerned about churches becoming divided. “We cannot , we must not intervene in their discussions and their responsibilities we respect.”
Traditionalists may oppose female and gays as bishops today, but the future lies in the direction of more inclusive leadership in churches throughout the world.