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Anglicans move to avoid division over gay pastors :: Asia Lutheran Communion :: Communication Creates Communion

Topic: Ecumenical

Anglicans move to avoid division over gay pastors

Posted by: Arul_Aram on Jul 10, 2007 – 09:18 PM | Read 995 times

Members of the Church of England’s General Synod voted Sunday to begin drawing up a set of rules in a "covenant" that they hope will ward off future crises over gay issues within the Anglican Communion. Anglicans back ‘covenant’ to avoid schism over gay clerics

LONDON (AFP) – Members of the Church of England’s General Synod voted Sunday to begin drawing up a set of rules in a "covenant" that they hope will ward off future crises over gay issues within the Anglican Communion.

The covenant aims to commit the communion’s churches to a set of procedures that would help solve disputes, thereby avoiding future schisms.

The issue of gay marriage has split the 77-million-strong Anglican communion after the US Episcopal church, the communion’s American branch, appointed an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in 2003, sparking uproar from conservative Anglican leaders, mostly in Africa and Asia.

"There can be little doubt that I am speaking to you at a time of great tension within the Anglican Communion," Archbishop Drexel Gomez, the Archbishop of the West Indies, told the Synod — the Church of England’s "parliament" during the three-hour debate.

"The ‘bonds of affection’ which once held our fellowship together are strained; indeed some would say broken … Unless we can make a fresh statement clearly and basically of what holds us together, we are destined to grow apart.

"I believe that the covenant can only succeed if it accurately describes a sufficient basis to hold us together and for us to want to stay together, based on what we already hold and believe."

Members of the Synod voted down a motion proposed by Tim Cox from the Diocese of Bradford rejecting the draft covenant and calling for members to "uphold the Biblical teaching that sexual intercourse belongs solely within the lifelong commitment of a man and a woman in marriage."

The Synod instead voted for the draft covenant and pledged to move towards developing a framework of faith and unity.

Last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams — the head of the Church of England — said that creating a covenant could mean dividing the communion into "associated" and "constituent" provinces.

The row over Robinson’s appointment led to Nigeria’s most senior Anglican telling The Times last week that his bishops may boycott a conference of Anglican leaders in Britain next year if the Episcopal church refused to stop its liberal agenda.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20070708/tuk-britain-anglican-a7ad41d.html

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