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Fate of Episcopal Church Left to Anglican Leaders, Not Head
Christian Post ^ | Apr. 10, 2007 | Lillian Kwon

Posted on 04/10/2007 12:31:37 PM PDT by fgoodwin

Fate of Episcopal Church Left to Anglican Leaders, Not Head

An Episcopal bishop recently revealed that the latest Anglican conference, while publicly centered on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, had a hidden agenda - concern over the issue of homosexuality.

Tue, Apr. 10, 2007 Posted: 13:08:34 PM EST

An Episcopal bishop recently revealed that the latest Anglican conference, while publicly centered on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, had a hidden agenda - concern over the issue of homosexuality.

More than 400 people had convened in Boksburg, South Africa, last month for the Towards Effective Anglican Mission (TEAM) conference. While discussing concerns on HIV/AIDS, poverty, women and education, Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison said the hidden agenda of the gathered Anglicans "concerned how our House of Bishops would respond by the Sept. 30 deadline set in the Feb. 19 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Communiqué."

Bennison, in his April column, was referring to what reports have indicated as an "ultimatum" set by the communion's Primates (Anglican leaders) who called the Episcopal Church - the U.S. wing of Anglicanism - to unequivocally pledge not to consecrate another openly homosexual bishop or authorize official prayers for same-sex couples. Otherwise, the church could have a much-reduced role in the communion.

Those "demands" by the Primates were "hanging in the air" when Anglicans met in Boksburg, said Bennison, a liberal bishop who is currently facing presentment charges over allegations that he is financially mismanaging the diocese.

At the conference, Bennison asked Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the communion, "When after September 30 will a decision about our place in the Communion be made, and will you be the one to make it?"

Williams responded he would leave the decision to the Primates, not himself. The reply left Bennison "fearful" for the Episcopal Church's future in the Anglican Communion, he stated, noting that the Primates had called for the demands in the communiqué.

"Not only we, but others around the Communion, too, would be profoundly grieved were we dismissed from the Communion or had our membership in it in any way downgraded," he said.

At the same time, Bennison also felt reassured that William's not knowing when a decision would be made about the Episcopal Church's place indicated "no one is rushing to judgment or desirous to dismiss us."

Controversy over scriptural authority and homosexuality heightened in 2003 when the Episcopal Church consecrated openly gay bishop V. Gene Robinsons of New Hampshire. Conservative Anglicans in the United States and the majority of Anglican leaders worldwide cited the Episcopal Church's departure from Anglican tradition and departure from scriptural authority.

Last month, the Episcopal House of Bishops reaffirmed that gays and lesbians are "full and equal participants" in the church and also rejected the Primates' plan for leaders outside the U.S. denomination to oversee the conservative American dioceses that disagree with the Episcopal Church. Dissenting Episcopalians had requested an alternative overseer, rejecting the authority of U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Williams called the decision "discouraging" and some conservative Anglicans say recent decisions by the Episcopal Church indicate the U.S. body is walking away from the Christian faith.

As many Anglican leaders predict a split in the global communion, Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu recently criticized the "endless debates" within the denomination about such issues as the ordination of homosexual persons in an interview on BBC Radio 4. He said it is "a corporate failure of the Church" not to do the ministry of Jesus Christ as the 77 million-member communion continues to be wracked by the controversy over homosexuality.

Meanwhile, Williams challenged churches in the Anglican Communion to be "a safe place" for homosexual persons to share their experience as the global body implements "The Listening Process." While affirming their position that homosexuality is incompatible with Scripture, the communion also called churches to minister pastorally and sensitively to all persons, irrespective of sexual orientation, and to listen to the experience of homosexual persons.

Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: anglicancommunion; apostasy; apostates; ecusa; episcopalchurch; heresy; heretics; homosexualagenda

1 posted on 04/10/2007 12:31:38 PM PDT by fgoodwin
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To: Huber

Please ping your Anglican list

2 posted on 04/10/2007 12:33:40 PM PDT by fgoodwin (Fundamentalist, right-wing nut and proud father of a Star Scout!)
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To: fgoodwin; ahadams2; Alice in Wonderland; BusterBear; DeaconBenjamin2; Way4Him; Peach; Zippo44; ...
Thanks to fgoodwin for the ping.

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FReepmail Huber if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
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Resource for Traditional Anglicans:
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
[The Christian Post's take on the current troubles --Huber]

3 posted on 04/10/2007 2:09:56 PM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: fgoodwin

Archbishop Williams is being consistent- he is not a pope, and he does not desire to make himself one. His method of expelling ECUSA- through a Covenant that everyone except the libs can ratify- is in my view a pretty shrewd move. It puts New York in the position of choosing not to participate and saves him from potentially having to involve Buckingham Palace or 10 Downing St in the thorny issues of international church polity.

4 posted on 04/11/2007 4:45:59 AM PDT by bobjam
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To: bobjam

The TEC’s Constitution and Canons, and those of other Anglican Churches IIRC define membership in the Anglican Communion as being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. It seems to me all he’d have to do is say, “I am no longer in communion with TEC.” and it’s a done deal.

5 posted on 04/11/2007 6:36:48 AM PDT by RonF
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To: RonF

I’m not entirely sure if the Primate of All England can legally make such a decision on his own. Maybe he can. While Anglican bishops posses great spiritual authority, they cannot exercise absolute administraive authority. Archbishop Williams can excommunicate individual members of his diocese on a case by case basis, however he cannot unilaterally alter the nature of the relationship between the Church of England and the Episcopal Church. Such a move may require assent from the Governor General of the Church of England (Queen Elizabeth II) and an act of the Church’s convention (commonly known as Parliament). The Queen prefers to stay out of controversies, and the last thing anyone wants is to see the future of the Anglican Communion debated in the House of Commons.

6 posted on 04/11/2007 7:03:48 AM PDT by bobjam
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To: bobjam

Interesting. But, then, the nature of the link between TEC and the Archbishop of Canterbury is spiritual; that’s what “in communion” means. The ABC has no administrative authority over TEC at all. It’s a voluntary association and it’s wholly spiritual.

7 posted on 04/11/2007 7:55:56 AM PDT by RonF
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To: fgoodwin

How in Heaven’s name is the fact that there is a dispute over homosexuality a “hidden issue” at the Primate’s meeting in Dar es Salaam? Nobody has talked about any other issue in the Anglican Communion for months if not years...

8 posted on 04/11/2007 9:10:58 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: fgoodwin

Repent means to change ones “heart”, ie do not do it any more.

9 posted on 04/11/2007 10:41:48 AM PDT by stockpirate (A nation that does not honor it warriors will be defeated by a nation that does. (read my profile))
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