In the ongoing dispute over the role of homosexuals in the church, two new conservative Anglican bishops have been designated as missionaries to the United States to promote orthodox teaching and practice.The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has blasted their appointment. Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, head of 70 million Anglicans worldwide, including the Episcopal Church, will not recognize them. But Charles Murphy III and John H. Rodgers Jr. consider themselves bishops nevertheless. Their maverick consecrations as bishops occurred in the wake of ongoing infighting among Episcopalians over homosexual ordination and same-sex unions.The Jan. 29 consecrations of Murphy and Rodgers—presided over by then-Archbishop Moses Tay (South East Asia) and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda)—provoked a fierce debate within the worldwide Anglican Communion.Murphy is a bishop in the Province of Rwanda and Rodgers is a bishop in the Province of South East Asia, both recognized entities within the Anglican Communion. Both men say their archbishops have authorized them to begin episcopal ministries—confirming new Christians, ordaining priests, and overseeing the pastoral ministries of priests.Griswold called the consecrations "singularly unhelpful" and warned against a "dangerous fundamentalism—both within Islam and our own Christian community—which threatens to turn our God of compassion into an idol of wrath.""Bishops are not intercontinental ballistic missiles, manufactured on one continent and fired into another as an act of aggression," added Michael Peers, Griswold's counterpart in Canada.Carey wrote to all Anglican bishops on Feb. 17 that he would not recognize the episcopal ministries of Murphy and Rodgers ...

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May 22, 2000

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