Monday, 23 June 2008

Minority Report: Gafcon, the gay elephant in the Anglican Church's room

[...] For the next few days all eyes will be on Gafcon to see what kind of statement the conference eventually decides upon. Insiders say it is extremely unlikely that any type of split will be announced but the language will almost certainly be a clear indication that a sizeable proportion of the global Anglican leadership want to see the church's attitudes towards homosexuality and other controversial issues realigned towards a more conservative interpretation.

Then in two weeks time we have the General Synod in York which will begin tentative discussions into the ordination of women bishops. The Church of England has already effectively given the go ahead to women bishops during previous Synods but this year's meeting in York will be the first step towards making that actually happen.

Traditionalists, including many of those going to Gafcon, see women bishops as yet another attack on their conservative beliefs and will undoubtedly fuel those schismist threats further. Others are pushing to create separate parishes and dioceses that can opt out of having a woman bishop should they wish to.

Either way the Anglican Church is looking forward to a summer of discontent and intrigue. Who knows whether the Communion will remain a communion for much longer if the currents disagreements are not figured out soon? Read more
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