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Today's Top Five

1. Rowan Williams seems to give Episcopal Church a pass
There will be news today out of New Orleans, where Episcopal bishops are working on a statement responding to … something.

"Anglican leaders set a Sept. 30 deadline for the Americans to pledge unequivocally not to consecrate another gay bishop or approve an official prayer service for same-gender couples," says the Associated Press.

Not so fast, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said at a press conference. "Despite what has been claimed, there is no 'ultimatum' involved. The Primates asked for a response by September 30 simply because we were aware that this was the meeting of the House likely to be formulating such a response."

Really? Sure sounded like an ultimatum back in February. That's why we headlined our story "Global Ultimatum,"and The New York Times headlined its story "Many Episcopalians wary, some defiant after ultimatum by Anglicans."

Here's the relevant part of the February document:

In particular, the Primates request, through the Presiding Bishop, that the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church 1. make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through General Convention; and 2. confirm that the passing of Resolution B033 of the 75th General Convention means that a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent; unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion.
The Primates request that the answer of the House of Bishops is conveyed to the Primates by the Presiding Bishop by 30th September 2007.
If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience ...
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'No Ultimatum' for Episcopalians, Says Anglican Head
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