Sexuality Debate Divides Anglican Bishops

Here’s the condensed version of this story: A once-per-decade Anglican bishop conference looms in Canterbury, England; some bishops are upset due to growing acceptance of homosexuality in Anglican-affiliated churches; said bishops decide to boycott Canterbury conference and start their own in Jerusalem. So there!

The New York Times:

Setting the tone for their meeting, the conservatives released a strongly worded theological manifesto on Thursday in Jerusalem, declaring that they see no possibility for reconciliation with the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada, which have accepted a gay bishop and same-sex unions. The conservatives say that after years of emergency meetings and ultimatums, they have been “ignored,” “demonized” and “marginalized.”

“There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Communion,” the document said.

After five years of hinting at the possibility of schism, this is the most explicit threat that some conservatives are prepared to break from the Anglican Communion, the world’s third largest affiliation of Christian churches, with 77 million members.

They say they see a “parallel between contemporary events and events in England in the sixteenth century,” when the Church of England broke from the Roman Catholic church.

“Now after five centuries, a new fork in the road is appearing,” said the document, which is published as a book titled, “The Way, the Truth and the Life.”

But the document stops short of spelling out the next steps or declaring a new Reformation or a separate church. It is intended as a position paper for the conservatives, who are themselves not of one mind about the next steps, and it will be debated at their Jerusalem meeting.

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