Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The archbishop's response falls short

From the London Guardian-

Moves by the Episcopal church to include lesbian and gay people more fully have been controversial among their fellow-Anglicans elsewhere. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has warned that a "two-track" communion may be required.

But developments in religious circles, as in wider society, have often taken place despite strong opposition. Deep disagreement in the church is nothing new, and Anglicanism, from its beginnings, has aroused controversy. Church unity cannot be founded on refusing equal treatment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people while allowing all kinds of other disputed practices.

A recent gathering in the US made the headlines because it recognised that, in the view of most of Episcopalians, partnered lesbians and gays as well as heterosexuals might be called by God to be deacons, priests or bishops, and offered greater flexibility on services of blessing in areas where the law allowed same-sex partnerships, as well as calling for more work on the issue. Delegates were aware that, in their own province as well as Anglican churches elsewhere in the world, different people had different opinions, but took the view that there was far more that united Anglicans than divided them.

Some bishops and archbishops elsewhere, however, have argued that it is time to bring an end to the freedom which Anglicans have traditionally enjoyed to worship and witness to God's love in their own national contexts. While those most passionately opposed to full inclusion have been given almost unlimited scope to do as they please, moves have been underway for some time to expel, or at best treat as second-class churches, those who do not treat LGBT Christians as second-class. Though himself a moderate, Archbishop Williams has largely gone along with this to avoid a split, and probably also to promote closer links with Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.

More here-

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