Monday, October 31, 2005

Conservative Anglicans meet in Cairo; warn liberal Western Anglican provinces

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Conservative Anglicans warn liberal churches in West Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:38 AM ET, Reuters By Edmund Blair CAIRO (Reuters) - Traditionalist Anglican clerics warned the U.S. and Canadian churches on Monday that their liberal actions over gay rights were tearing apart the 450-year-old church and told them to change their ways urgently. In some of the strongest language they have used so far in an already acrimonious dispute, churches from Africa, Asia and Latin America said they saw no evidence yet that U.S. and Canadian Anglicans were responding to calls for "repentance". The 77 million-strong Anglican church has been divided since 2003 when the U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA) ordained a gay bishop and Canadian Anglicans began blessing same-sex marriages. The move outraged traditionalists who dominate southern hemisphere churches, the so-called Global South. They say the Bible condemns homosexuality and that liberals in the West have introduced unacceptable "innovations" into biblical teaching. "We recognize with regret the growing evidence that the provinces, which have taken action creating the current crisis in the (Anglican) communion, continue moving in a direction that will result in their walking apart," the group said in a communique issued on Monday after a six-day meeting in Egypt. "We call for urgent and serious implementation of the recommendations of the Windsor Report," the group of 20 church provinces said, referring to an Anglican report which laid down steps to be taken in bid to resolve the dispute. The Windsor Report included calls for the U.S. and Canadian churches to express regret for their actions. Archbishop Robin Eames, who led the Windsor task force, has said he believes the report's demands have now been broadly met. But conservatives say the U.S. and Canadian churches have only said sorry for causing hurt, but have not admitted their actions were wrong. "We see no evidence that both ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada are willing to accept the generally accepted teaching, nor is there evidence that they are willing to turn back from their innovations," the Global South communique said. Officials say the final position of both churches will only emerge from U.S. and Canadian conventions in 2006 and 2007. To read the full article click here