Saturday, 19 April 2008

Salt Lake Tribune: Episcopal leader: We need to talk about sexuality

[...] one issue continues to divide Anglicans among themselves: the 2003 ordination of New Hampshire's Bishop Gene Robinson, an openly gay man in a committed relationship. Some congregations already have pulled out of the denomination, including the entire Nigerian Diocese, to voice their objections.
Ultimately, Jefferts Schori does not believe the Anglican Communion will splinter over it.
"It's a very, very small part of this church, less than 1 percent, that sees this of sufficient concern to want to leave over it," she said. "Our job is to bless their going and reassure them our door is always open and that we'll keep the light on for them."
Those remaining need to keep talking about issues such as sexuality, even when they disagree.
Jefferts Schori takes her lead from the "Elizabethan Settlement" of Britain's Queen Elizabeth I, which said the country's Christians didn't have to believe exactly the same thing but they had to worship together.
"That's still one of our central tenets," Jefferts Schori said. "We see sexual issues in the same light but the particular context may require a different focus."
In the developing nations, such as Nigeria, Anglicans are more interested in life and death issues, she said, while those in the developed world also can focus on broader social issues such as fair treatment of homosexuals.
"We see that as one of the fundamental tasks of the church - to help us all live holy lives," she said. "The challenge comes because there are different understandings of what that means."
To Jefferts Schori, the larger challenges include rampant consumerism, environmental change, and growing polarization in society. Read more
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