Tag Archives: Anglican Church

Is It Much Ado About Nothing With Pope And Anglicans?

Pope Benedict XVI reached out to Anglicans who were disturbed about efforts of some in their religion who wanted to allow gays and women to not only be part of their religion, but able to become members of its clergy. The Pope offered to allow Anglicans to return to Catholicism, maintain some of their religious practices, and even offer an opportunity for Anglican priests to become Catholic priests even though they were married –but never to become a Bishop which, remains the province of single men. Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, expressed displeasure with the Pope for failing to discuss his ideas with leaders of the Anglican Church. He urged Archbishop Rowan Williams to make known the anger of Anglicans concerning the manner in which the Pope made his outreach.

Williams is much calmer and notes his church has weathered other storms and is still around. Anglicans do share many ideas with Catholics although while agreeing on the evil of divorce, they accept laws of the country allowing it. We can assume some Anglicans will become Catholic. Too bad, some Catholic clergy can’t get married and become Anglican priests.

Are Gays And Lesbians A Religious Problem?

The Church of England has a problem even though they believe the problem stems from attempts to allow gay and lesbians to become members of the clergy. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Church, noted: “I think gay clergy in the Church of England are thought of as a problem to be solved or at least lived with rather than a gift from God.” There are reports of a two track model for dealing with gay clergy. Robinson said the Church of England “led the way in the ordination of women,” and now it was time for those who truly believe in a Christian church that opens its arms to all will accept the concept of gay clergy.

Perhaps, there is a two track system in heaven for gays and straights, but so far there is no mention from Christ as to whether this actually exists. If one believes God welcomes all humans, there can not be two or three or multiple tracks.

Archbishop Of Canterbury On Homosexuality

A last ditch attempt to undermine the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury became apparent with the leak of a letter he wrote eight years ago in which he compared homosexual relationships to marriage. At the recent Lambeth conference which brought together Anglican bishops, Dr. Rowan Williams emerged as a moderate who endeavored to placate both sides on the issue of gay marriage and gay bishops. He came across as a liberal on gay issues who was willing to surrender some rights in order to maintain the unity of the Anglican church.

Release of the letters which were written in 2000 and 2001 were an attempt to undermine his position in the church. He had written: “by the end of the 1980s I had definitely come to the conclusion that scripture was not dealing with the predicament of persons whom we should recognize as homosexual by nature. I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage.”

The letters will in no way deal with the fundamental issue the Anglican church is split between liberals who welcome gays and lesbians and conservatives who would rather leave the church than accept such a position.

US Bishops Blamed For Anglican Discord

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, blamed liberal North American churches for causing turmoil in the Anglican communion by blessing same-sex union and consecrating gay clergy. “If North American churches do not accept the need for a moratoria(on same sex blessings and the consecration of gay clergy)we are no further forward. We continue to be in grave peril.” He addressed his words to 670 bishops who had attended the 10-yearly gathering of clergy at the Lambeth Conference as one fourth of those attending made their anger known about what they termed to be the stifling of more conservative voices from African and Asian churches. They attacked the “patronising attitude of the west towards the rest of the churches.”

The reality for Anglicans is the presence of opposing viewpoints regarding the rights of women and those who are gays and lesbians. Churches which reflect the views of conservative African and Asian members are hostile to any attempt to allow gays or women to become clergy and they do not wish to recognize gay unions. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles expressed the view of most liberal members when he said: “I can only say that inclusion is a reality. For people who think that this is going to lead us to disenfranchise any gay or lesbian person, they are sadly mistaken.”

African Bishops Not Happy Over Gay Bishops

Anglican Bishops from African societies expressed their disappointment with efforts by the Church of England to allow gays and females to serve as bishops. Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng, arch bishop of Sudan, blasted developments in Canada and the United States where gay clergy are being ordained and same sex relationships are blessed. “This has not only caused deep divisions, within the communion,” said Deng, “but it has seriously harmed the church’s witness in Africa, opening the church to ridicule and damaging its credibility in a multi-religious environment.” He called on Rev. Gene Robinson, who is an acknowledged gay, to resign in order to save the church from division within its ranks.

The Rev. Deng argued “God is not making a mistake creating Adam and Eve–he could have created two Adams if he wanted. If he(Robinson) was a real Christian he would resign.” He essentially argued the resignation of Robinson would result in traditionalist bishops feeling they could return to the church. His complaint was in line with numerous arguments being expressed at the Lambeth Conference by individuals representing virtually all views.

One issue not explored by the Rev. Deng is what if She went ahead and created two Eves, would the bishop be a happy man?

Anglican Bishops: Inclusive Communion For All!

The leadership of the Anglican Church expressed in clear terms their support for the rights of gays and women to be active participants in all facets of their religion. Duleep de Chickera, a bishop for Sri Lanka, made clear” “There is space equally for anyone and everyone, regardless of color, ability, gender or sexual orientation. It is an inclusive communion where there is space equally for everyone and anyone, regardless.” He admitted “some of us are not here”(Lambeth Conference), a reference to the decision by traditionalists to boycott the Lambeth conference in opposition of the decision by the Archbishop of Canterbury(Rowan Williams) to support gay and female bishops.

Dr. Rowan Williams received a standing ovation from the assembled bishops and he urged of the importance of finding ways to respect the ideas of liberals and traditionalists. Many observers were surprised at the remarkable sense of unity among the bishops even though there is a significant number who might still harbor doubts about the move toward allowing gay and female bishops.

Pope Benedict Urges Anglican Compromise

Pope Benedict is leading an unusual effort to heal a growing rift in the Anglican church over issues centered around allowing gays and females to become bishops. The Pope urged both sides in the conflict to find a “mature” solution to their problem in order to avoid a “schism” in the church. He dispatched three cardinals to serve as mediators and make clear the would not support the defection of conservative Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict is giving behind the scenes assistance to the Archbishop of Canterbury who is trying to keep traditionalists within the church.

Pope Benedict undoubtedly sides with traditionalists in their opposition to gay and female bishops but he is concerned about churches becoming divided. “We cannot , we must not intervene in their discussions and their responsibilities we respect.”

Traditionalists may oppose female and gays as bishops today, but the future lies in the direction of more inclusive leadership in churches throughout the world.

Anglican Gay Bishop Heckled In Church

Tensions tearing apart the Church of England surfaced dramatically on Sunday when the first openly gay bishop’s sermon was disrupted bye heckling as he tried speaking to the congregation. The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, was compelled to halt his address after a demonstrator repeatedly called him a heretic. A member of the congregation accused the split that has emerged in the Anglican church upon people like Robinson whose gay beliefs are denounced by conservative church leaders. As the heckler interrupted the sermon, supporters of Robinson started a slow handclapping and someone began to sing a hymn. The heckler eventually was escorted from the church.

After the interruption, Robinson told the congregation: “This discussion of homosexuality we are having in the church is not so significant because of what it says about homosexuality, but because of what it says about God.” Earlier in the day, Stephen Green, national director of the traditionalist Christian Voice said: “It is a sad day when you get a bishop in a church preaching something that God himself called an abomination.” As Robinson told his congregation, “When someone stands up and says homosexuality is an abomination, does that make you want to get to know God?”

Robinson expressed disappointment that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has been supporting gay rights, because Robinson was not allowed to attend the Lambeth Conference.

As an outsider, one can only express amazement that leaders of a church are so conversant as to what God believes or does not believe about particular issues. Perhaps, they have a direct phone connection to heaven, the rest of us can only hope we have some grasp as to the intentions of God and do hope, the Almighty has an almighty commitment to each and every human on Planet Earth.

Conservative Anglicans Rebel And Form New Church

Conservatives forces in the Anglican church rebelled and are determined to form a new Anglican church that will combat changes being made such as consecration of gays, lesbians, and women as priests in the church. They are upset with the Archbishop of Canterbury who they believe is supporting these attacks on what they consider to be the real Anglican religion. A Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Foca, will be formed in the coming weeks in order to provide a base for those who seek the traditional trappings of the Anglican church. Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria decried the “forces of militant secularism and pluralism” as the reason why people are turning away from the Anglican church.

There is much more conservatism among Anglican clergy in Africa, South America and Asia than among those from more economically developed societies. The split is most probably as much stemming from geographical and economic factors as from religion. People in more advanced societies include those from diverse backgrounds and thus are more sensitive to the need for pluralism.

Anglican Bishops Threaten Split With Liberals

Senior Anglican bishops who are disturbed by efforts of the more liberal wing to make significant changes in the composition of the church are threatening to take action against leaders of the liberal wing such as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many conservative bishops are refusing to attend the annual meeting in Lambeth as a mark of their protest against the leadership of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Michael Nazir Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, is among the leaders of the conservative revolt and he denounced the Archbishop of Canterbury’s “revisionist leadership.” Major issues of conflict revolve around the liberal desire to allow gays to be members of the clergy and to accept women in church leadership positions. The Rev. Peter Akinola, who is Archbishop of Nigeria, and a leading conservative, warned against “modern cultural and revisionist leadership.”

The conflict within the Anglican church is seen in just about all modern churches as some people resist the winds of cultural change in the world.