An Anglican congregation in Wheaton, Illinois, that has distanced itself from the Episcopal Church and placed itself under the sponsorship of the Anglican archbishop of Rwanda has learned, according to critics, how long a reach the politics of an African nation can have on a U.S. parish.
The conflict in the Anglican Communion over homosexuality is usually represented as a split between the U.S., British and Canadian churches on the one hand and the rest of the Anglican world on the other. Often cited is the 2004 statement issued at a meeting in Nigeria by the Anglican Primates of the Global South, representing 18 Anglican provinces.
In a clear rebuff to conservatives in the global Anglican Communion, Episcopal Church leaders have rejected a September 30 deadline set by overseas Anglicans to roll back their church’s pro-gay policies, arguing that such decisions can be made only at the U.S. church’s triennial conventions—the next one being in 2009.
Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, who defied the top bishops of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion by installing his own bishop on U.S. soil this month, declared that “insulting and condescending” American bishops are to blame for the controversy.
Episcopal bishops have brushed off an attempt to give overseas Anglicans a role in governing the Episcopal Church, saying such a move would be “injurious” and could lead to a permanent division of the U.S. church.
After the evening service on Ash Wednesday, I was led off for coffee and conversation by a group of seminary students who wanted to air their frustrations about the recent meeting of Anglican primates. The primates had issued a call for the Episcopal Church in the U.S. to declare that it will not authorize same-sex blessings and will not elect another openly gay bishop.
Calls for patience from restive Episcopal majority
Mar 20, 2007
Pleading for patience from her church’s restive majority, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori urged the Episcopal Church to refrain from ordaining gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions “for a season,” so it can contribute further to the drafting of a covenant among the world’s 77 million Anglicans.
Anglican leaders from around the world have told the Episcopal Church’s bishops they must declare unequivocally that they will not authorize same-sex blessings and that no one living in a same-sex union will be made a bishop.
Life is often violent at the intersection of white and black in the scrappy Cape Town suburb of Mowbray. Wedged between the exclusive neighborhoods near the mountain and the vast squalor of the townships, Mowbray sits at the front lines of South African integration.
Conservative Episcopalians’ steady exodus from the Episcopal Church accelerated before Christmas as eight Virginia congregations—including two large, historic parishes—voted to leave the national body.