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Monday, 4 August 2008

Splits within splits

It's not just the Anglican Communion as a whole that is split over gays, but the Episcopal Church within it, according to this piece in the Republican American.

Episcopalians, it says, keep insisting it's "not about gays".

But, as American Episcopal bishops return home from an international religious conference this week, it's clear that the "gay issue" is one that continues to split the Episcopal church. Since the 2003 consecration of the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, Anglicans have been divided over their approach to gay priests, gay marriage and who holds ultimate authority in the communion of 77 million followers around the world.

That international religious conference was, of course, Lambeth, the ten-yearly powwow attended by the world's Anglican bishops. But this year a quarter of them stayed away, because they think the Episcopalians are very naughty for voting for and then consecrating Bishop Gene Robinson in New Hampshire.

The conference, in Canterbury, showed "no ability to suture [the Church's] wounds", the paper tells us. It was not intended to make binding decisions, but "the strife within the church was so deep that more than 200 conservative bishops from Africa, Asia and North America boycotted the meeting entirely, convening in Jerusalem instead".

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