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Anglican church is not splitting - Nigerian archbishop
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 9/15/2005

Posted on 09/20/2005 5:25:48 PM PDT by sionnsar

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria's Anglican archbishop said on Wednesday that a meeting next month of traditionalist Anglicans from developing nations opposed to the advancement of gay rights in Western churches was not meant to create a schism.

Peter Akinola, the most outspoken critic of liberal Anglicans in the United States, Canada and Britain, denounced as speculation reports on the Internet that the meeting would decide on a break in the 77 million-strong Anglican Communion.

The meeting of traditionalists -- mostly from Africa and Latin America but including dissidents from North America -- will be the latest step in two years of deepening divisions in the worldwide Communion sparked by the ordination of a U.S. gay bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions in Canada.

Akinola, who some reports said would lead a new church that no longer recognised Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as its spiritual leader, blasted the Church of England for allowing gay clergy to enter into civil unions if they remained celibate.

In a statement on the meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, Akinola said: "The encounter is not a business meeting concerned with power, politics and other such mundane things." The Scotland on Sunday newspaper had reported it planned to agree on a schism.

In February, the majority of Anglican leaders asked U.S. and Canadian clerics to withdraw from a key global council for at least three years, in a bid to buy time as debate roils the 450-year-old church.

Conservatives say the burden of deciding whether to leave the Anglican Communion lies with the liberals, who have taken action in defiance of agreed-upon church principles.


"We are not going anywhere," said Archbishop Greg Venables of southern South America, a leader in the conservative Global South group, which includes Africa, Latin America and Asia.

"How we begin to realign, we don't know," Venables told Reuters in Buenos Aires. "I do not personally think the Anglican Communion will survive as we know it because we can't bring together the two elements, they are antithetical."

He said the debate could drag on for another 10 years because the Anglican Communion was decentralised and had no mechanism for excluding any of its member churches.

"As we look to the future, it's possible that two Anglican expressions will come out of this," Venables said.

Since the Anglican primates meeting in February, the Scottish church has declared its backing for gay priests and the Church of England allowed priests to register under Britain's new civil partnership law as long as they remain celibate.

This last decision was greeted with disbelief among conservatives, Venables said.

"This is an indication that England is going to go down the same road as Canada and the U.S. and that there is going to be further division in the next months," he said.

Orthodox groups in the United States and Canada who disagree with their liberal leaders will be invited to attend the October meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, Venables said.

But liberal clerics won't be asked to join because Global South leaders want to avoid further polemics. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has been invited, however, despite his personal support for accepting gay bishops.

Venables said the debate tearing apart the Anglican Communion is not about human sexuality, but rather how strictly the Bible should be interpreted and whether faith principles are seen as relative or absolute -- a debate he said has divided Christianity since the 19th century.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: ecusa; schism

1 posted on 09/20/2005 5:25:49 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; keilimon; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 09/20/2005 5:26:30 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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To: Professional Engineer


3 posted on 09/20/2005 8:55:20 PM PDT by Peanut Gallery
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