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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


Related stories
UK Anglicans debate homosexuality [12/02/2004]


 

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