Lifestyle & Belief

Anglican divisions at UK meeting

(I know there were high expectations for this event and one controversy. Tell us about what transpired in New Jersey and its relation to what's happening here.) 10 years ago there was high drama here because conservative Bishops voted through a resolution saying homosexuality was against scripture and five years later the Episcopal Church consecrated a gay man in New Jersey which infuriated conservative bishops around the world. (The Archbishop of Canterbury is getting slammed from all sides on this, tell us about him.) He's a former liberal theologian and has a tight rope to walk. Conservatives are saying throw the Episcopal Church out of the union or do something because they haven't shown enough repentance. This has been said that it would be sorted out long ago, and it seems it's not going to be sorted out. (This issue has huge stakes though, and if the Church does split, how would that happen?) It's difficult to say. This is an issue about sexuality, but also about a post-colonial church, and African bishops are flexing their muscles and they feel the West has lost its way and they need to re-Evangelize the West. So many laws being redrawn here and it's getting messy, which is why the Archbishop of Canterbury is supporting the idea of issuing a Covenant. (What's behind it?) It's saying we'll establish a set of tenants of Anglicanism and people will need to sign up to three rules: 1, we'll have a moratorium on ordaining gay clergy; 2, a moratorium on same-sex blessings; 3, conservatives will stop crossing borders and adopting other churches. (It sounds as if the Anglican tent is only so big.) I think that's absolutely right.

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