Dissidents in the Episcopal Church, angered by last year’s consecration of an openly gay bishop, have formally launched a new “network” to act as a church-within-a-church for traditionalists. Some 100 conservative leaders from 12 dioceses met January 19-20 at Christ Church in Plano, Texas, to approve a charter for the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes.
New Jersey has become the second state to allow embryonic stem cell research after its governor signed a law that has drawn criticism from religious and ethical groups that oppose abortion. “It is our obligation as a people and as a state to move the frontiers of science forward,” said Gov. James E. McGreevey when he signed the law January 4.
As soon as majorities at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention consented to the election of an openly gay bishop, outnumbered conservative delegates condemned the unprecedented action for “breaking the ties that bind” the U.S. church to the rest of Anglicanism. Nineteen dissenting U.S.
It is tempting to view the fracas over a gay bishop as another instance of liberals sparring with conservatives. Like revision of the Book of Common Prayer and approval of the ordination of women, Gene Robinson’s confirmation as a bishop in the Episcopal Church could be interpreted as a victory for liberals intent on affirming diversity and securing justice for excluded minorities.
By all reports the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, which took the unprecedented step of confirming an openly gay man as a bishop of the church, was a remarkably civil affair. Church leaders debated one of the most divisive theological issues of our time in respectful fashion. They addressed last-minute charges of personal misconduct against the bishop-elect, V.