Saturday, December 10, 2005

Church service for gay priest and partner draws ire

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Seal of the Anglican Communion, Worldwide Church of EnglandAccording to an article published by News, a religious blessing service for a gay priest and his partner in England is draawing ire from Anglican conservatives who have been threatening a schism since the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of New Hampshire. The Rev. Christopher Wardale and Malcolm Macourt, a retired academic, will sign civil partnership papers and then hold a religious service to bless their relationship. Conservatives are calling on the Archbishop of Conterbury, The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, the head of the Church of England and titular head of the Anglican Communion, to put a stop to the service. COnservatives are angry at the fact that the former Bishop of Durham, the Rt. Rev. David Jenkins, will be leading the service. The Rt. Rev. D. Jenkins is retired but agreed to preach at the service. Same-sex couples will be able to legally enter into civil partnerships on December 21 in England and the Church has alread said that it cannot prevent gay clergy from obtaining the partnerships. According to the article:
[The Most Rev. R.] Williams has been trying to steer an even course, managing so far to keep saber rattling conservatives and liberals clamoring for change, from splitting. Last month nearly half of the church's 38 primates accused Williams of failing to steer the church on a conservative path and denounce any acceptance of gays within the faith. (story) But the service for Wardale and Macourt may not be the only same-sex blessing ceremony. Already a number of bishops and priests have said they will defy the directive.
====== I really do not see how our Church is going to be able to stay together unless the Archibishop of Canterbury steps up to take a difinitive stand, one way or the other. WIth all of the provinces fighting each other as much as they are, no agreement between them will come quickly. It will be up to the Archbishop if any this is to end. I know that people will say the Archbishop shouldn't take more power in the Church leadership, but I really do feel as though that will be the only way that any sort of conclusion will come to this current controversy. You know... I haven't heard anything from the Queen about this either. She is "keeper and defender of the faith" still, right? Why hasn't anyone heard from her? She needs to speak up to. I just think the current leadership won't say anything, because they are afraid of offending someone. Whatever happens... someone or some body within the Communion is going to be offended or get upset. There is no way that the Archibishop is going to be able to keep playing this game of trying to make everyone happy. It just will not work.