Former archbishop issue warning about gay clergy
April 23, 2004
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The former spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglican
Christians warned that approval of a gay bishop in New Hampshire
has fractured the church to such an extent that "we are in danger."
Lord George Carey, who retired as Archbishop of Canterbury in
2002, said Thursday that although the Episcopal Church should be
inclusive, the American branch of Anglicanism went too far by
consecrating openly gay V. Gene Robinson as bishop last November.
"I think it's gone beyond the Scripture and the Christian
tradition," Carey said.
The archbishop was in Colorado Springs for a summit called by
the conservative Anglican Communion Institute, which outlined a
series of proposed punishments for the Episcopal Church. The
three-day summit ended Thursday.
Among the proposals were barring bishops who supported
Robinson's consecration from attending certain meetings, including
those called by the Archbishop of Canterbury. If they do attend,
they would have no voice or vote on decisions.
The institute also outlined a plan in which individual parishes
that supported Robinson's ordination would remove themselves from
the Episcopal Church and become independent.
Carey said he considers the institute's plan a good guideline
with the potential to keep the Anglican Communion together.
The Rev. Christopher Seitz, president of the institute, said the
group has submitted its proposed punishments to the Lambeth
Commission, set up by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to
discuss the implications of Robinson's consecration.
Anglican leaders in Asia, Africa and Latin America who believe
gay sex violates Scripture warned for months that consecrating
Robinson would fracture the Anglican Communion. Archbishops from
Africa have said they will reject donations from any diocese that
recognizes gay clergy.
In the United States, dissident Episcopalians have formed a
national protest group, the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses
and Parishes, but stopped short of a schism with the Episcopal
Church. The denomination has 2.3 million members in the United
States. – Sapa-AP
UK Anglicans debate homosexuality [12/02/2004]