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24 Jun 2008

''Conservative'' Anglicans to split church over gay clergy

In a grand stroke of irony, hundreds of "conservative" Anglicans opposed to ordaining openly gay clergy and who are meeting in Jerusalem this week will be in town as the city celebrates gay pride on Thursday, June 26.

Some 300 bishops believed to account for a third of the Anglican bishops in the world - arrived in Jerusalem this week to attend a conference to protest the ordination of openly gay clergy in the "west" and the presence of pro-gay bishops at the once-in-a decade gathering of bishops in the UK next month.

The man at the centre of the rift: Openly gay Gene Robinson who was elected as the bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.
The conference was scheduled to be held in Amman, Jordan but the chair of the movement and Archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola, was denied entry to Jordan when attempting to cross from Israel.

Led by Dr Akinola, the conservatives, who claim to represent around half of the Anglican Church's 77 million members - many of them in Africa - have threatened to break with their more liberal colleagues over the ordination of an openly-gay bishop and acceptance of same-sex unions in the US.

In 2003, the Episcopal Church, the US wing of Anglicanism, elected Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. Earlier this month, he entered into a civil union with his partner of 19 years, Mark Andrew, at a private ceremony in a church.

Organisers of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) say more than 1,000 Anglicans including 300 bishops - from Africa, Asia, Australia, England, Latin America and the US - and their spouses are attending the June 22-29 event.

Most of the attendees of the GAFCON will boycott the Lambeth conference, an Anglican summit held once every 10 years where the church decides policy, and which will be held in Canterbury, England from Jul 20 to Aug 4. Unlike GAFCON, the latter event is only open to clergy and their spouses.

Even though the archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the Anglican Communion worldwide, Rowan Williams, did not lend his support to Robinson's ordination, and even refused to meet Robinson during a visit to London, he angered the traditionalists when he invited the Episcopal Church leaders who had ordained him to the Lambeth Conference.

At an opening ceremony on Sunday, Dr Akinola underlined the conservative group's staunch rejection of homosexuality and mission to "rescue what is left of the church from the error of the apostates."

"We reaffirm that the only sexual expression, as taught by scripture, which honours God and upholds human dignity is that between a man and a woman within the sacred ordinance of marriage.

"We further believe that scripture maintains that any other form of sexual expression is at once sinful, selfish, dishonouring to God and an abuse of human dignity."

Other key players of the movement include archbishops Henry Orombi of Uganda; Nicholos Okoh of Nigeria; Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda; Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya; Peter Jensen of Australia and bishops Martyn Minns of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, and North America's Moderator Bishop of Common Cause, Bob Duncan.

The UK Telegraph noted the significant absentees at GAFCON to include the Singapore-based Rt Rev John Chew, Primate of South-east Asia, and Dr Mouneer Anis, treasurer of Global South and Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle-east of whom neither of them "could be described as anything but theological conservatives."

According to media reports, the Anglican Church in Jerusalem, headed by Bishop Suheil Dawani, is a reluctant host to the event having publicly opposed hosting the conference despite not "not agree(ing) with recent developments in the Episcopal Church concerning sexuality."

The controversial annual Gay Pride Parade, which has repeatedly encountered vehement and sometimes violent opposition from ultra-Orthodox Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups, will take place under massive police protection as the group covers about four city blocks on Jul 26. Some 2,000 people were said to have marched last year.

Reader's Comments

Comment #1 was deleted by its author
Comment #2 was deleted by its author
3. 2008-06-24 05:01  

Can your teacher read, does your preacher pray
Does your president have soul
Have you heard a real good ethnic joke today
Mama took to speed and daddy ran away
But you mustn't lose control
Let's cut the class, I got some grass
The kids are wild we just can't tame 'em
Do we have the right to blame them

We fed them all our indecisions
We wrecked their minds with television
But what the hell, they're too young to feel pain

But I believe that love can save tomorrow
Believe the truth can make us free

Someone tried to say it, then we NAILED HIM to a Cross

I guess it's still the way it USED To Be
4. 2008-06-24 05:02  
Superman was killed in Dallas
There's no love left in the palace
Someone took the Beatles' lead guitar

Have another Chivas Regal
You're 12 years old and sex is legal
Your parents don't know where or who you are

Used to be the hero of the ballgame
Took the time to shake the loser's hand
Used to be that failure only meant you didn't try
In a world where people gave a damn

Great big wars in little places
Look at all those frightened faces
But don't come here, we just don't have the room
Love thy neighbours wife and daughter
Cleanse your life with Holy water
We don't need to bathe, we've got perfume

Used to be a knight in shining armour
Didn't have to own a shiny car
Dignity and courage were the measure of a man
Not the drugs he needs to hide the scar

Comment #5 was deleted by its author
6. 2008-06-24 05:06  
A church, state, people, religion....that is quick to, judge, condemn, exclude, ostracize and punish another of God's children because of whom he/she LOVES instead of hate...is NOT of GOD.

There's a great song by Stevie Wonder and Charlene, Used To Be, that sums up mankind pretty darn well. It's the same old same old--zzzz--guess we are doomed any which ways..lol..;)
7. 2008-06-24 07:55  
Baptism by fire :-) ! We shall over-cum :-) !
8. 2008-06-24 08:31  
you know what, Jesus is biting his nails.
9. 2008-06-24 11:34  
It is a shame that those upholding the tradition of the church are accused of creating a breach. Those the break church law are the schismatists.

I am gay and Christian. I have no doubt that my sexuality is God's creation within me, but nonetheless a church has a right to establish policies and those voluntarily participating in the church can abide by the policy or leave. It is selfish to expect others to conform to our variations from the norm
10. 2008-06-24 11:49  
I met with Bishop Robinson about MyOutSpirit.com a few months ago, and he discussed the upcoming Lambeth conference. I was impressed by how prepared, mentally, spiritually and practically, he and our allies are to combat bigotry in their church. This will probably be a lengthy process, but as MLK said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it tends toward justice."
Comment #11 was deleted by its author
12. 2008-06-24 14:45  
Hmm I think the start of a religion is to bring all differences under one common roof. Not casting out the odd ones.
Comment #13 was deleted by its author
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16. 2008-06-24 18:03  
"It is selfish to expect others to conform to our variations from the norm "

You have this upside down. No one is asking them to do anything; it is they who are telling gays to be celibate and closetted, not get married, generally restricting their freedom and making insulting remarks.

This upside down reasoning is a common tactic of certain religious groups who claim their right to be bigotted (from our point of view) is being infringed by allowing others their freedom, whereas it is they who are actually seeking to restrict the freedom of others.

They are also putting archaic rules (as did the pharisees) before humanity and the increasing understanding that science and education continue to bring to the world.

The Anglican church is a broad church; now however the Nigerian bishop is making insulting remarks about the leader who is trying to keep the different people together. Maybe it is time to expel the right-wing extremists and let them go their own way.
17. 2008-06-24 19:07  
www.weheartstuff.com.au this woke me up from my trance
18. 2008-06-24 19:50  
there we go again..church vs gay .... sigh
so sad...

19. 2008-06-25 01:24  
Kuman 10127 says "It is selfish to expect others to conform to our variations from the norm"
I think he has it wrong....we do not expect them to conform, but to accept God's creation at least in a spirit of compassion and love. This was what Christ taught, and I for one do not expect the Church, which professes to represents him, to stray light years from his teachings!.
20. 2008-06-25 11:40  
all those who oppose gays should live on an other planet .
here on earth it is diversity and freedom. spontaneously born gays are opposed by non proven if not outright lies and deceit of religion . it is a joke .
religions should be banned if not proven to be correct .
john sharp
21. 2008-06-25 12:51  
Archbishop Akinola is a spiritual man.

How will he keep his flock together if he cannot demonstrate that following Scripture makes his followers better than at least some others?

The church can no longer look down on blacks, women, lepers, or alcohol consumers as it did before.

Homosexuals are a useful target.

Their suffering may be our salvation - so let's do what we can!
22. 2008-06-25 15:40  
Why should anyone on this Earth take the views of clergymen seriously? It has been proven time and time again that there simply isn't an answer when it comes to reconciling conservative theologians and modern ideologues. Instead of trying to make the Church fit in with us, why not simply take it on ourselves to teach the message we want taught - equality, acceptance and understanding. Let's see which doctrine wins people over.
Comment #23 was deleted by its author
Comment #24 was deleted by its author
Comment #25 was deleted by its author
26. 2008-06-26 14:12  
Pardon my impertinence.... bt it's high time
" conservative" clergymen wake up & learn :

1) the REAL essence of Christian grace

2) the world does not revolve around them.

3) they can never play God... no matter how
hard they try.
27. 2008-06-29 14:20  
grew up with missionaries ... anglican ... so ... this is rather personal ... xoxoxox
28. 2008-06-29 21:08  
Errant certitude, arrogance and ignorance are a potent mix in the churches today. Yes, we don't have to belong to them but ... my baptismal vows say I have a right to be a child of Jesus and be loved, valued, accepted and cared for they way he would have wanted.
I am afterall, the way God made me.
29. 2008-06-29 22:34  
the great father in heaven is a great man indeed and i believe i speak for all that He does not condemn homosexuality. He loves each and everyone of us for who we are and that is the nature of God.

He gave the ten commandments so that all may obey and walk in the light of His path. The doctrine written by the apostles through the inspiration of God from the time of old is served as a guidance to us all. There is always a line drawn to what is good and what is bad.

In our own lifetime, we can choose either to believe or to reject the word. However, we are taught to live each day by 'Faith'.

Please do allow me to speak freely. Certainly this message does not bring about offending anyone.

Our obedience are justified by faith not by what the Lord tells us to do. If we could see Him and take in instruction, it is easy to follow. It is not easy to follow because we live each day by our faith.

We are all given freedom to choose what we want to do with our lives each day. It can be something good, it can also be the opposite. These are choices. Each choice and action accompanied by our own actions has got consequences.

He who accepts God accepts his teachings and embrace his faith. the church does not teaches violence neither does it teaches hate. all in all, upon so many verses and words, round and round, it all boils down to 'LOVE'.

In fact, in faith, we are taught to love the sinner but not the sin. But sometimes it is really hard to believe that successful men and women, lovely teenagers and young adults lived their youth in immorality. The church teaches morality and that all may practice the good. However, upon choices and temptations, people do stray. In His time, He does not force but He will win us back one by one to Him again. That is what the greatest love of the almighty God.

because of His great teachings, i accept willingly the teachings of the church, embrace Christianity, the love of my brother, my God, my Savior and my friend.

It is always been misunderstood that homosexuality are condemned by the church, the traditionalists or even God himself. Not true. Perhaps one day, in His time, we will come to know the great love of God.
Comment #30 was deleted by its author
Comment #31 was deleted by its author
32. 2008-06-30 11:58  
Thank you for yr positive imput Ms NuNny =)
It's nt so much Christianity per se we have an issue with, bt the patronising attitude of some holier-than-thou believers which, strangely enough, contradicts the very essence of humility & grace displayed by the great Lord Jesus.
Comment #33 was deleted by its author
34. 2008-06-30 23:24  
hi VexX. i do get where you're coming from.

i do understand that one man's meat is another man's poison.

all of us have different perspective of seeing things and opinions to many things and everybody will not agree to one viewpoint. but conform to moral values and standards, we just know what is truely right and just.

just that we're humans after all and yea yea... we do get naughty sometimes.

all in all, hypocrites.. etc. claiming too highly of oneself, no practice/action... is no good because sometimes through their actions, the truth unfolds by itself by showing who they really are. then those arnd them will be wary of ppl like that.

oh well... i m in no position to judge because the stage is not mine. so long we don't hurt, we dun bite. & if we believe in something, we practice it for the good and greater things and not for self-fish reasons, it's more than enough reward.. i guess.
35. 2008-07-02 17:17  
I guess...the best thing to do is to pray.
Comment #36 was deleted by its author
Comment #37 was deleted by its author
38. 2008-07-03 16:12  
Post #21 NuNny:

It appears you've got the point right. Good.
39. 2008-07-04 19:51  
Somebody should remind the Anglican bishops how their church started in the first place! Just because Henry the 6th wanted to divorce and remarry and it was forbidden by the Catholic Church (then the ONLY Church) to divorce and take a second wife, he started the Anglican Church. A Church started based on lust? On top of that he had six wives and beheaded a number of them too! Bet most of you didn't know that , didn't you? And from then the Anglican Church splintered into further other "churches" because everyone wanted to interpret the Bible in his own way - so we have the Methodists, the Bethesda, etc, etc. Really.... and now they want to sanction a gay bishop? It's a circus, if you ask me!
40. 2008-07-04 19:54  
Oh yes, one more morsel of info - do you know who is the head of the Anglican Church? The monarchy of England! Now it's the Queen and God forbid if Charles should be King and by default the head of the Anglican Church ! He committed adultery while still being married to Princess Diana! Come on Anglican Bishops, stop being such hypocrites!
41. 2008-07-07 14:31  
hmm...interesting pieces of info there loverman2611. All you mentioned about sums up the entire point of organized religion in the first place.. :p
Comment #42 was deleted by its author
43. 2008-07-20 13:04  
Loverman, I don't quite follow your logic - I would have thought that a church born out of utter imperfection as the Anglican Church was would be exactly the one to entertain the idea of embracing all as God's children. Even by calling forth an actively gay bishop who after all, is nothing more than a genetic variation to the norm. He is only like most of our 'family' members. It was the Church that was the last to accept that the world is not flat and that the Sun and stars do not revolve around the Earth. Can't we continue to challenge that modern day version of ignorance??

And NuNny ... you and centurion have it! ... Let's pray. Prayer shakes the universe and God listens! I was schooled in that as a contemplative monk once. You're right, I think!!
However, it is almost the only reliable observance I have left. Unlike you apparently NuNny, I have needed to extract myself from the prevailing culture of the righteous modern-day Pharisees who exhort all to errant certitude and ignorance.

I admire your positive approach to living your faith. I am positive in my spirituality too, believe it or not. I just don't have any trouble separating out the need to distance myself from the toxic Church community on the one hand and my spirituality on the other. Yes, it may mean some creative thinking that the Church cannot approve of. But I have already determined that the Church has great difficulty in speaking for the things of God sometimes and I do not have to support the Church dogma, warts and all.
Now I am happy and free and loved by God in a way that the Church faithful in large part, cannot manifest.
44. 2012-07-24 22:38  
Hi loverman it was actually Henry the 8th, but you effectively got your point across. It should also be remembered, that in addition to executing his six unlucky wives, the philandering Henry promoted Thomas More to Lord Chancellor of England (attorney general) and when he did not get the result he wanted from More concerning Anne Boleyn, he had More beheaded too, under perjured testimony by the Solicitor General, Richard Rich, and a corrupt prosecutor named Thomas Cromwell. Not sure if I have the history or timeline right, please correct me if I am wrong about this.

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