Saturday, September 23, 2006

Anti-Gay Bishops Vote to Split Evangelical Church

The US Episcopal Diocese of Newark was voting for a new bishop Saturday, with an openly gay priest among the six candidates.
The election in the historically liberal diocese comes at a time when divisions over the Bible and sexuality are threatening the denomination and the worldwide Anglican family.
A win by Canon Michael Barlowe, 51, would put the diocese at the center of a crisis over whether Anglicans who disagree about ordaining gays can stay in the same fellowship.

Christianity Today
A new church structure has been created yesterday for evangelicals in the United States who oppose homosexuality, initiated by leaders of the Anglican Church’s conservative wing.
by Anne Thomas

A new church structure has been created yesterday for evangelicals in the United States who oppose homosexuality, initiated by leaders of the Anglican Church’s conservative wing. Archbishops from the 20 African and Asian provinces in the Anglican “Global South” grouping said that they understood the “serious implications” of their decision, following a meeting in Rwanda. But they added: “We believe that we would be failing in our apostolic witness if we do not make this provision for those who hold firmly to a commitment to historic Anglican faith.” The primates will now push for a two-Church solution in the US, serving as a model for Anglican provinces elsewhere with liberal majorities and strong conservative minorities, such as in England, Wales and Scotland. They are to develop an alternative Anglican structure in the US for the seven Episcopal dioceses who appealed this year to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for alternative oversight. Their appeal came after the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, when a female and pro-gay primate, Bishop Katharine Schori, was elected to succeed Frank Griswold as leader of the Episcopal Church. The conservatives are also angry that the Episcopal Church has stood by the election of the openly gay Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. A new church structure would also offer a home to conservative parishes within liberal dioceses. The Global South is not planning to leave the Anglican Communion, but aims to develop a separate structure that will be a member in its own right of the Anglican Church. The two Anglican Churches would not be in communion with each other, but both would remain in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the Communion’s “instruments of unity”. Such a structure exists in Europe, where both the Church of England and the Episcopal Church have a diocese that exists alongside each other in the same geographical territory. The Global South group have also appealed for another bishop to sit alongside Bishop Schori when all 38 bishops meet in Tanzania next year. They do not recognise Bishop Schori, who backed the election of Bishop Robinson. “We are convinced that time has now come to take initial steps towards the formation of what will be recognised as separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican communion in the USA,” the primates said in a statement yesterday. An insider said that the Church was moving with the times. “This is taking the realities seriously and saying that Anglican identity is not something to be determined by a single province but is something done globally. “In a globalised world with new communications, the medieval notion of one Church, one bishop, one territory is totally outdated. “The Global South primates are saying: ‘Let’s live in the modern world and recognise there are various possible configurations and these should not be determined by geography alone’.”


Anonymous said...

How on earth do you find the TIME to update your blog so regularly? Surely this time would be better spent on pastoral work, Father?

Fr Ray Blake said...

This item, while I am having lunch.
The items earlier today when I was woken by the door bell at 2pm this morning and couldn't get back to sleep.
I do not think there is much pastoral work at that time of day I can do.

Anonymous said...

what are you doing spending your time reading this blog? should,t you be out and about serving God and your neighbour anon?pastoral work is not just the priest's job

mandatum said...

Hear, hear! The beauty of blogging is that one can do it at anytime of the day or night or whenever one has a spare moment.

Furthermore, blogging can also be seen as pastoral work - Fr Blake is, after all, spreading the word of God not only to his parishioners but to the world via the World Wide Web.

gregory said...

I have just crept into your site meter, you seem to have a world wide readership, more than half from abroad, do you get to speak that many people on a Sunday?

clara said...

I detest the idea of priests not keeping up with current thought and ideas, especially within the Church. I presume that this is the by-product of Fther's reading.

Anonymous said...

They didn't elect him