Skip to comments.U.K. Anglican Group Calls for 'Imperative Action' Against U.S. Episcopal Church
Posted on 07/27/2006 7:11:45 PM PDT by fgoodwin
U.K. Anglican Group Calls for 'Imperative Action' Against U.S. Episcopal Church
By Joseph Alvarez Christian Post Reporter Thu, Jul. 27 2006 08:25 AM EST
A conservative evangelical group in the Church of England has called on the heads of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion to take imperative actions to formally break ties with the Episcopal Church, USA.
Thu, Jul. 27, 2006 Posted: 08:25:36 AM EST
LONDON A conservative evangelical group in the Church of England has called on the heads of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion to take imperative actions to formally break ties with the Episcopal Church, USA.
The call from U.K.-based Church Society follows the U.S. churchs decision last month to reject a resolution to halt further ordinations of homosexual bishops, approving instead a compromise resolution that urged U.S. church leaders to "exercise restraint when considering the ordination of homosexual candidates.
With the Primates due to meet early next year it is imperative that action is now taken, the society stated in a press release. Since the Anglican Communion is a loose affiliation of national or provincial churches rather than a monolithic structure it is important that action taken is appropriate.
In line with Biblical teaching and historic Christian practice Church Society has called on the Primates to formally break fellowship with ECUSA.
After the consecration of New Hampshires Gene Robinson as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in 2003, many overseas Anglican leaders broke ties with the U.S. Anglican arm as a majority believes gay relationships violate Scripture.
Last month, conservative Anglican bodies, such as the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), followed with great interest the ECUSAs triennial meeting in Columbus, Ohio, and earnestly prayed for the development of U.S. churchs response to The Windsor Report a 2004 document in which Anglicans asked the Episcopal Church for the prohibition on homosexual bishops, a temporary ban on developing official prayers for blessing same-sex couples and an apology for the turmoil caused by Robinsons consecration.
However, Episcopal delegates snubbed Anglican leaders' request that they temporarily stop electing openly gay bishops, a vote that prompted the church's leader, outgoing Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, to call a special session in hopes of reaching a compromise to preserve Anglican unity.
Although ECUSA delegates approved Griswolds last-ditch attempt to salvage worldwide Anglican unity voting to adopt a resolution that calls on U.S. church leaders to "exercise restraint" when considering gay candidates for bishop conservative Anglicans, including the Most Rev Peter Akinola of Nigeria, made it clear that resolution did not go far enough.
As you know, our Churches cannot reconcile this with the teaching on marriage set out in the Holy Scriptures and repeatedly affirmed throughout the Anglican Communion, stated a letter Akinola wrote on behalf of the CAPA late last month.
In Church Societys released statement, the group also expressed disappointment over the decision of the Episcopal Church.
At the recent ECUSA General Convention it became clear that they have no intention of turning back from the course they have taken, they stated.
According to David Phillips, General Secretary of the Council of Church Society, It should be clear to all that ECUSA and others have stepped well beyond the boundaries of orthodox, apostolic Christianity.
We believe that postponing action any longer can only damage the Communion and the witness of Anglican churches worldwide, Phillips wrote to the Primates of the Anglican Communion in a letter that accompanied Church Societys statement.
While calling on Anglican primates to formally break fellowship with ECUSA, Church Society noted the large minority within the ECUSA that is opposed to the errors of their church and many more who have themselves separated from ECUSA because of error.
The "large minority" includes Episcopal Dioceses in Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, South Carolina and California, which have made requests to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, for a "direct pastoral relationship" from overseas instead of being under the American church and its newly elected leader, Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada, who supports same-sex relationships.
Also within the Episcopal Church, conservative members have banded together to form the Pittsburgh-based Anglican Communion Network, which represents 10 Episcopal dioceses and more than 900 parishes that opposed Robinson's election in 2003. The network remains part of the Episcopal Church for now, but could ultimately attempt to replace the denomination as the American member of the communion. It has a meeting set for this weekend to discuss its plans.
In his letter, Phillips urged for a mechanism to be developed to establish fellowship with those in the United States who remain faithful to orthodox, apostolic Christianity and thus reject such innovations as the acceptance of same sex sexual activity.
We suggest that a Commissary be appointed by the orthodox Primates who will work with the various bodies and individual churches in the U.S. so that they can establish some means by which they can be welcomed formally into fellowship, he wrote.
The Church Society stated that it is important to embrace these dioceses, churches and denominations within the Communion.
Christian Post correspondent Maria Mackay in London contributed to this report.
Joseph Alvarez Christian Post Reporter
Standing on principal! The nerve of these people....he, he, he.
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