Sunday, October 30, 2005

Liberal Episcopalians prepare for possible split over gays

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From the Salt Lake Tribune By Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service October 28, 2005 Liberal Episcopalians, concerned that a split over homosexuality may be inevitable next year, have begun laying the groundwork for seizing control of church property and replacing bishops who leave the church. Leaders of Via Media, a loosely knit alliance of liberal groups in 12 conservative dioceses that does not include the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, sketched out the plan in a Sept. 29 meeting in Dallas. Draft minutes from the meeting were leaked to the news media this week. The ''Day After'' blueprint - combined with conservative plans for ''faithful disobedience'' and bishops who are already mulling ways to divide property - is the latest indication that all sides are preparing for a battle royal when the church meets next summer in Columbus, Ohio. ''We want to do everything that might be necessary and appropriate to make sure that every Episcopalian who wants an Episcopal church has one,'' said Christopher Wilkins, the national facilitator for Via Media. The 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church has weathered deep divisions at home and with other Anglican churches abroad since 2003, when it approved an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and inched toward blessing same-sex unions. Conservatives have looked to allies in the Third World for guidance, and have predicted a ''realignment'' of Anglicanism in North America unless the U.S. and Canadian churches repent of their actions. To read the full article click here