Anglican Communion Network plans to start new churches
Nov 16, 2004
An openly gay Episcopal bishop whose consecration was criticized by an Anglican church panel says he is “deeply sorry” for the disarray his election has caused and will adopt a personal moratorium on blessing same-sex unions.
The Episcopal Church should apologize for stirring disunity, but will not face serious sanctions for allowing an openly gay bishop, an Anglican church panel said in long-anticipated recommendations made October 18. The panel’s 92-page report, issued by Irish Archbishop Robin Eames, stopped short of calling for the U.S.
The Episcopal Church bishops, waiting for the shoe to drop in London, ended their fall meeting expressing confidence that “our household of faith is large enough to embrace us all” despite acknowledged divisions over the majority’s approval of a gay bishop and tolerance of same-sex unions.
Leaders of the Episcopal Church may be placed on quarantine by the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion because of the U.S. denomination’s approval of an openly gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as a bishop, London newspapers reported early this month.
It may have been a close vote, but the stance of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on issues of homosexuality remained unchanged in Richmond, and will stand for at least two more years as the denomination switches to biennial general assemblies.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, after electing its first woman bishop four years ago, raised two more females to the episcopacy this month at its quadrennial meeting in Indianapolis. They also elected an unprecedented three native African bishops as a sign of AME commitment to indigenous leadership on that continent.
On the persistent question of whether churches should tolerate same-sex intimacy by any of its ministers, opponents won a series of victories in May as United Methodists met in Pittsburgh. If anything, the second-largest U.S. Protestant denomination strengthened its resolve against ordaining openly gay ministers.
The Episcopal Church has seen a 7 percent drop in contributions from local dioceses since it voted last year to approve an openly gay bishop, but officials say it may be premature to link the two developments directly.
Testimony, not advocacy, is my intent in this first foray into a subject about which church bodies argue: the “blessing of gay marriage/unions” and “ordination to clergy status” of men and women in committed homosexual partnerships. Let me separate the two. The “blessing” item is now part of presidential politics, a subject M.E.M.O never touches.
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.