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    September 26, 2007

    Episcopal backslide or defiance?

    Posted by: Chris

    News_23196 Just two days ago, Episcopal bishops meeting in New Orleans had promised "a clear response" to an ultimatum from overseas Anglican bishops regarding non-celibate gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions. When the promised response was released late yesterday, it was as clear as mud.

    Most media have reported the statement as promising "restraint" or a "concession" or "easing" or "tempering" their "stance" on gays. But the New York Times reported the other way around.

    The AP report offers the majority view, "Episcopal Church Tempers Support for Gays":

    Episcopal leaders, pressured to roll back their support for gays to keep the world Anglican family from crumbling, affirmed yesterda that they will "exercise restraint" in approving another gay bishop. The bishops also pledged not to approve an official prayer for blessing same-gender couples and insisted a majority of bishops do not allow priests to bless the couples in their parishes.

    Meanwhile over at the Times, "Episcopal Bishops Reject Anglican Church’s Orders":

    Bishops of the Episcopal Church on Tuesday rejected demands by leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion to roll back the church’s liberal stance on homosexuality, increasing the possibility of fracture within the communion and the Episcopal Church itself.

    After nearly a week of talks at their semiannual meeting in New Orleans, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution that defied a directive by the Anglican Communion’s regional leaders, or primates, to change several church policies regarding the place of gay men and lesbians in their church. But the bishops also expressed a desire to remain part of the communion, and they appeared to be trying to stake out a middle ground that would allow them to do so.

    My bet is that they're all correct to some degree. The Episcopal bishops basically agreed to freeze the status quo to see whether that satisfies the hardliners, at least temporarily. The conservatives don't just want to preserve the status quo, they want to rollback the ordination of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson. Mostly, they want power, pure and simple, especially Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola and his American allies.

    So I'll go with schism.

    For a complete news summary, click or bookmark: http://gaynewswatch.com/anglicanrift



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