Saturday, February 7, 2009

Factions encouraged by Anglican leaders' statement

From Saturday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

Leaders of the two competing Episcopal dioceses of Pittsburgh said they were encouraged by a statement from the world's Anglican archbishops on healing divisions within their fractured worldwide church, the Anglican Communion.

But they focused on different aspects of the statement, drafted this week in Alexandria, Egypt. It called for a "professionally mediated" conversation between Anglican leaders and leaders of a proposed theologically conservative Anglican province for North America, whose archishop-designate is Bishop Robert Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican).

In November, his 74-congregation diocese voted to secede from the Episcopal Church and realign, at least temporarily, with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America. But 28 parishes have remained in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh that is recognized by the Episcopal Church.

The archbishops, called primates, also called for "gracious restraint" by dioceses that want to elect partnered gay bishops, to bless same-sex unions or to cross geographical borders to take charge of parishes unhappy with their own bishop's theology. The splits occurred because conservative Episcopalians believe that many Episcopal bishops no longer uphold biblical authority, classical doctrines about Jesus or traditional Christian sexual ethics.

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