Pope Benedict XVI
said Saturday that he is praying there will not be any
more rifts in the Anglican community following the recent
Church of England decision on women bishops.
questions from journalists aboard his flight to Australia,
Benedict touched briefly on the turmoil in the Anglican
''I am praying so
that there are no more schisms and fractures'' within
the Anglican community, Benedict said.
On Monday, the
Church of England's ruling body voted its support for
women to become bishops. That stance risks causing further
division among Anglicans, since traditionalists are
opposed to that idea.
Church, the Anglican body in the U.S., is led by a woman,
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
Communion, a 77 million-member family of churches that trace
their roots to the Church of England, also is wrestling with
other contentious issues -- gay clergy and the
blessing of same-sex marriages.
Benedict said he
did not want to ''interfere'' in the debate.
Vatican on Tuesday said the decision by the Church of
England to allow women to become bishops will be an
obstacle to its reconciliation with the Roman Catholic
Church. The Vatican does not permit the ordination of
from Rome more than four centuries ago, when English King
Henry VIII bolted in 1534 after papal refusal to grant him a
Anglicans have been engaged in talks to overcome
theological divisions. (AP)