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Today's Top Five

1. "I would accept schism"
For a century, the fight between liberals and conservatives in the mainline denominations has usually meant that conservatives have broken away to create new denominations while asserting that it's the liberals who have truly departed from the church and its teachings. It has been difficult to convince the liberals that they're the ones who are schismatic. But while that story looked to be happening again in the fight between orthodox Anglicans and liberal Episcopalians, it now appears that something different may indeed occur. Faced with a unanimous ultimatum from the world's Anglican leaders to bar gay bishops and same-sex union blessings by September 30, Episcopalian liberals seem to be realizing that church unity is incompatible with their promotion of a new sexual ethic and rejection of biblical authority.

"I would accept schism," Bishop Steven Charleston, president of the Episcopal Divinity School, told The Washington Post. "I would be willing to accept being told I'm not in communion with places like Nigeria if it meant I could continue to be in a position of justice and morality. If the price I pay is that I'm not considered to be part of a flawed communion, then so be it."

Mark Sisk, the bishop of New York, is one of the most-quoted voices of rebellion this week. "Being part of the Anglican Communion is very important to me," he told The New York Times. "But if the price of that is I have to turn my back on the gay and lesbian people who are part of this church and part of me, I won't do that."

Notably, the gay and lesbian people who are part of Sisk's church say the choice is stark. Both the current and former heads of Integrity, the denomination's main gay organization, ...

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February 2007

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