Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Anglican Communion remains divided on gay issues

Talks between Episcopal Church bishops in the United States and top-ranking representatives of the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion ended with few signs that the bishops would change the U.S. church's liberal stance on homosexuality.

At the top of the agenda of the U.S. bishops' semiannual meeting here was a directive from the communion's primates asking the U.S. church to stop consecrating openly gay and lesbian bishops and to ban the blessing of same-sex unions, or risk a diminished status in the communion, the world's third-largest Christian denomination.

At a news conference Friday, the communion's spiritual leader, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, emphasized that the directive was not an ultimatum to the U.S. church. Anglican leaders, including Williams, met with the U.S. bishops on Thursday and Friday.

"Some primates would give it a more robust interpretation, some less so," Williams said of the directive. "But it is inevitably a matter of compromise."

The bishops conclude their meeting Tuesday, when an official response to the directive is expected. But several bishops with a range of views on homosexuality said they did not expect the House of Bishops to endorse the directive. In such an event, those who disagree with the Episcopal Church have said they might break with the church or with the wider communion. Read more
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