Saturday, 18 July 2009

Archbishop of Canterbury faces final divide in Anglican Communion over gay clergy

Dr Rowan Williams flew to California last week to urge leaders of the Episcopal Church not to take any decisions that would create any more tension in the 80 million-strong global church over sexuality, by going against scripture and tradition.

But his personal plea was ignored as delegates at the General Convention of the national church in America effectively overturned a ban on the ordination of homosexual priests, which had been imposed in 2006. It was the Episcopal Church's ordination of the Rt Rev Gene Robinson as the first openly homosexual bishop in 2003 that triggered the ongoing battle between liberals and conservatives in the church.

Clergy, bishops and lay members of the Episcopal Church approved resolution D025, which "acknowledges that God has called and may call any individual in the church to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church".

On Wednesday, bishops in the church also voted in favour of a rite for same-sex partnerships being drafted. This goes against traditional Anglican teaching that only the marriage of a man and a woman can be blessed in church. Read more
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