Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The Times: Anglican Church schism recedes over gay issue with African leaders

The prospect of schism in the worldwide Anglican Church receded as African leaders meeting in Jerusalem stepped back from the brink and declared they are not seeking to start a new church.

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, Primate of Kenya and leader of that country's four million Anglicans, and the Ugandan Primate Archbishop Henry Orombi confirmed last night that there will be no split.

Archbishop Nzimbi's comments are especially significant because he is heading the committee that will draw up the final communique to be issued on Sunday night.

It also confirms the word behind the scenes in Israel and as disclosed by The Times on Monday, that the agenda is now reform from within rather than starting a breakaway conservative Anglican church that excludes homosexuals or tried to "convert" them to heterosexuality.

The emerging figure that is crucial in the softening of the line on schism is the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, who has become the key player on the Anglican conservative wing, shifting the emphasis from the US and African conservatives to Australia. Significantly, the Pittsburgh Bishop Bob Duncan, who heads the US conservative grouping Common Cause, is not in Israel although he is named as one of the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) leadership team in the programme. Read more
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