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Church of England Synod Hears Warnings on Anglican Split Over Gay Priests
American Anglican Council ^ | 11/17/2005

Posted on 11/17/2005 3:53:57 PM PST by sionnsar

Source: Christian Today
Posted: Thursday, November 17 , 2005, 6:57 (UK)
By Daniel Blake

Church of England Synod Hears Warnings on Anglican Split Over Gay Priests

The spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, Dr Rowan Williams has given a sharp warning to the Anglican Communion on the final day of the Church of England’s General Synod in Church House, Westminster Nov. 16th.

The Archbishop of Canterbury told how splits over the ordination of gay priests are deeply shaking the foundations of the 76 million-member worldwide Communion.

Continued disputes within the Church over the past few years have seen a progressive deterioration of trust between Anglicans in Europe, the USA, Canada and Africa.

The Church’s General Synod, which has been held in London from Nov. 14-16, 2005 had seen the Queen open with a resounding speech where she told how the Christian faith has had a unique and enduring effect in the world despite the ever-changing society.

“The Christian Church can speak uniquely to that need, for at the heart of our faith stands the conviction that all people, irrespective of race, background or circumstances, can find lasting significance and purpose in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” she said.

However, today the Archbishop of Canterbury addressed the troubling problems that have risen clearly into the public eye over the past year. He told attendees at the Synod, “We have to beware of 'poisoning the wells' by doing our business with suspicion and hostility or lack of mutual respect.

“We have to remind ourselves that the Church's central focus is not on its own housekeeping, necessary as that is, but on its communication of a revealed truth and hope to the world.”

The debate about sexuality within the Church was complicated by high levels of mutual ignorance, he said. This must be tackled by communication, he told the meeting in central London.

He continued saying that if every Synod member made contact with someone in another Anglican province who was not likely to share their view, they might be able to move away from the "demeaning caricatures" that persisted on both sides.

The Church of England, which is the largest individual member of the Anglican Communion, groups together 38 separate churches, and is lead by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

However, it has also come under close scrutiny this year after the House of Bishops took a controversial stance on the Civil Partnership Act, which comes into force in December and will allow many new legal rights to gay couples.

Church commentators have been continually passing comments on an expected schism within Communion after the Church of England’s decision to allow gay bishops to register under the Civil Partnership Act on the promise of abstinence.

The decision by the Church of Nigeria in September to drop all reference to Canterbury in its new constitution is the latest in a long line of events that have served to deepen divisions within the Communion including the ordination of a gay bishop in the U.S. in 2003 and the blessing of same sex marriage in Canada.

Since the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson as the first openly gay homosexual in the Anglican Communions’ history, several churches in Europe, North America, Australia and South Africa have ordained openly gay clergy and blessed same-sex unions.

These actions have stirred up deep divisions among the Communion, especially in Africa where nearly half of the world’s Anglican population live.

On Monday a church in the US state of Virginia announced that it would now withdraw from the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA) directly as a result of the issue. It stated that it would instead align itself under a conservative Ugandan bishop.

The newly-appointed Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu spoke of the "scandalous" divisions within the Church at the opening Synod session at Church House in Westminster on Tuesday.

Another hotly debated topic over the past year has been that of women bishop ordinations. On this, Dr Williams called for calm amid talks that a split could even take place within the Church of England on this matter.

In July 2005, the Synod had voted to commence procedures to take the Church towards the eventual ordination of women bishops, eleven years since the Church of England first ordained women priests.

After this decision, however, several senior Church leaders threatened to leave the Church if the plans continue. But the Church of England head told that this issue should not become and excuse for “exclusion”.

Dr Williams also called for an increase in the number of younger candidates coming to enter the priesthood. He said, “There is a challenge to do with how we really speak the language of a different generation, and it's often been said that we have let slip the priority of encouraging younger people to come and share in the work of ordained ministry.”

The archbishop put forward a target for a 20% increase over the next five years in candidates for the priesthood that are aged 30 or under.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 11/17/2005 3:53:58 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; ...
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, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 11/17/2005 3:54:29 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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To: sionnsar
The debate about sexuality within the Church was complicated by high levels of mutual ignorance, he said. This must be tackled by excommunication, he told the meeting in central London.

(Add two little letters and suddenly I like Williams a lot more :)

3 posted on 11/17/2005 8:18:11 PM PST by Claud
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