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Church Essay

1621 words - 7 pages

An Anglican Church commission rebuked the Episcopal Church USAyesterday for ordaining an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and for blessingsame-sex unions, and called for a moratorium on both practices "untilsome new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges."In a report issued in London, the commission asked the Episcopal Churchto apologize for causing pain and division in the global AnglicanCommunion, the second largest church body in the world, with 77 millionmembers in 164 countries.The report also calls for the bishops who consecrated the gay bishop,V. Gene Robinson, to consider withdrawing from Anglican "functions"until they offer "an expression of regret." The current and ...view middle of the document...

The commission said in effect that theanswer to the conflict is not discipline, but dialogue.The report calls for more accountability among the church's autonomousprovinces, urging that all of the geographic regions eventually adopt a"common Anglican covenant"--a new set of principles to strengthen "theloyalty and bonds of affection which govern the relationships betweenthe churches of the Communion." But it acknowledges that such a covenant"would have no binding authority."The conservatives come in for criticism too. The report stronglyrepudiates bishops who have violated the church's traditional lines ofauthority by intervening in conservative parishes that have disavowed theirmore liberal bishops.The commission also faulted the 18 provinces in Africa, Asia and LatinAmerica which have declared "broken or impaired communion" with theAmericans. It asks these conservative bishops to desist and "expressregret for the consequences of their actions."The Episcopal church faces a revolt by some of its own parishes anddioceses. The report rules out the formation of a "parallel jurisdiction"for conservative Episcopalians, instead urging conservative parishes towork with the Episcopal Church to find alternative pastoral oversight,preferably by retired bishops from within their own dioceses.Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh is moderator of the AnglicanCommunion Network, an alliance of 10 American dioceses that reject theEpiscopal Church's governance. He said he was disappointed in the reportbecause it gives the Episcopal Church responsibility to police itself, andmerely postpones the crisis."The Communion is in for a very rough ride," he said.The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, presiding bishop of the EpiscopalChurch, said in a telephone interview from London that he found the report"nuanced and balanced." Asked if he planned to apologize, he pointedout that the report never used that word. He said the report asked onlyfor an "expression of regret" that the American church's decisionscaused such dissension."I can regret the effects of something, but at the same time be clearabout the integrity of what I've done," Bishop Griswold said.The Anglican panel, known as the Lambeth Commission, was convened ayear ago by the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to seek ways toheal the church in the face of growing schism. He appointed as chairmanthe church's longest serving primate, Archbishop Robin Eames of Armagh,Northern Ireland, a veteran of reconciliation efforts in both hischurch and his country. The commission included 17 theologians and bishopswho ranged from liberal to conservative, but who managed to unanimouslyapprove their 88-page report, called the Windsor report.Archbishop Eames told a news conference that the commission concludedthat each of the 38 provinces of the church had a right to autonomy,"Yet they are not free to depart unilaterally from a shared faith ofdiscipline without this affecting our ties as a family," he said.He said the...

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