Friday, February 16, 2007

Reuters: Conservative Anglicans seek rebuke to U.S. stance on gays

By Katie Nguyen

Friday, February 16, 2007; 9:28 AM

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Anglican leaders met on Friday to consider a report about the U.S. church's response to criticism of its backing of gay clergy and same sex unions, in a row threatening to tear the church apart.

The report said the church had responded adequately to a call for a moratorium on the ordination of gay bishops but had failed to make clear its opposition to same sex unions.

Many conservative commentators have condemned the report being discussed at a closed meeting in Tanzania of Anglican archbishops, faced with schism over homosexuality and the teachings of the Bible.

Conservative Anglicans say the report is too lenient toward the liberal Episcopal Church, which has become increasingly isolated since it consecrated an openly gay bishop in 2003.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams who is chairing the summit has battled to keep together the world's 77 million Anglicans, the third-biggest Christian domination after the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Despite being the spiritual leader of a loose union of 38 self-governing national churches, he has no power to impose a compromise between a mainly North American liberal minority and conservative majority in the developing world.

"This report misses the mark entirely in its analysis of the Episcopal Church's beliefs and intentions," said conservative American Anglican Rev. Canon David Anderson.

He said in a statement that if Anglican leaders did not take firmer action, "it will deal a severe blow -- perhaps fatal -- blow to Anglicanism in North America and worldwide," he said in a statement.

Read it all here.


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