Wednesday, March 21, 2007

From the AP: Episcopal Bishops Reject Ultimatum

March 21st, 2007 posted by kendall at 1:05 pm

In the strongest and most direct language yet defending their support for gay relationships, the bishops said that accepting a second leader for traditionalists would violate Episcopal church law and the founding principles of the church.

“We cannot accept what would be injurious to the church and could well lead to its permanent division,” the bishops said in the resolution.

Last month, Anglican leaders emerged from a meeting in Tanzania with an ultimatum for the U.S. denomination. They gave Episcopalians until Sept. 30 to unequivocally pledge not to consecrate another partnered gay bishop or authorize official prayers for same-sex couples. Otherwise, they said, the church risked a much-reduced role in the 77 million-member Anglican Communion.

As part of the plan, the Episcopalians were told to accept a “primatial vicar” for conservatives who said they could not accept U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori because of her acceptance of gay relationships and liberal theology.

While the bishops addressed that issue in their resolution, they did not directly stake out a position on the Anglican demand about other gay bishops.

However, Episcopal leaders noted that they had previously met requests not to approve another bishop in a same-sex relationship “at great cost to many, not the least of whom are our gay and lesbian members,” only to have Anglican leaders say the pledges weren’t sufficient.

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