International Anglicans upset with gay bishop's consecration, but aren't breaking communion with full American church
Response to the Episcopal Church USA's first openly gay bishop has been swift, as expected. Among the first critics was the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
"The divisions that are arising are a matter of deep regret; they will be all too visible in the fact that it will not be possible for Gene Robinson's ministry as a bishop to be accepted in every province in the communion," Williams said. This has been generally perceived as a critique of the consecration, which is consistent with his recent statements and support of the recent statement of Anglican primates (leaders of the various Anglican provinces). But it should be noted that Williams didn't explicitly criticize Robinson's elevation to bishop, but made reference to "decisions which appear to go against Catholic order or biblical teaching." Still, he said, "It is clear that those who have consecrated Gene Robinson have acted in good faith on their understanding of what the constitution of the American church permits.'
Anglican leaders from the global South were far more forceful, though their actions were not as radical as some conservatives had hoped. A statement released by released by Nigerian primate Peter Akinola on behalf of the working committee for the Primates of the Global South expresses "profound sadness and pain," and says, "We are appalled that the authorities within the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) have ignored the heartfelt plea of the Communion not to proceed with the scheduled consecration … [which] clearly demonstrates that authorities within ECUSA consider that their cultural-based agenda is of far greater importance than obedience to the Word of God, the integrity of the one mission of God in which we all share, the spiritual welfare and unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion, our ecumenical fellowship and inter-faith relationships."
What that means, Akinola's statement says, is that
- "The overwhelming majority of the Primates of the Global South cannot and will not recognize the office or ministry of Canon Gene Robinson as a bishop."
- "A state of impaired communion now exists both within a significant part of ECUSA and between ECUSA and most of the provinces within the Communion."
- "We urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to bring forward urgently a mechanism to guarantee 'adequate provision of episcopal oversight' for parishes and clergy within ECUSA dioceses and the Diocese of New Westminster with whom we remain in fellowship."
- "We … affirm the ministry of the bishops, clergy and laity in ECUSA who have, as a matter of principle, and in fidelity to the historic teaching of the Church, opposed the actions taken at General Convention and objected to the consecration."
Some had expected several provinces to break communion with the Episcopal Church USA altogether. However, not only did the primates stress that their criticism was focused only on those dioceses that supported Robinson's consecration, but that the relationship is one of impaired communion, not broken communion. The difference is important.
Court won't enter Moore's Ten Commandments fight
The Supreme Court rejected appeals by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to overrule lower courts' demand that Moore remove the 10 Commandments monument from the Alabama courthouse. Moore defied the federal order to remove the monument, which was removed after he was suspended as chief justice. Moore had challenged the Court to decide once for all if public 10 Commandments displays violate the Constitution. Lower courts have ruled both ways in the many 10 Commandments cases across the country.
The Associated Press notes that "the Supreme Court's action is not a ruling on the thorny question of whether the Ten Commandments may be displayed in government buildings or in the public square. It merely reflects the high court's unwillingness to hear the appeal."
The Foundation for Moral Law, which supports Moore's legal battle, has not yet posted a response on its website.
More stories on the Robinson consecration:
Sorry these are alphabetical, folks. Later we'll try to "realign" them in more manageable categories.
- 300 gather to protest, pray | For hundreds of conservative Episcopals, the consecration of the Anglican Communion's first openly gay bishop yesterday was a day of wrenching grief (Concord Monitor, N.H.)
- A service for the brokenhearted | Defiant cry, divided church (The Boston Globe)
- African church anger over gay bishop | Leaders of the Anglican Church in Africa have condemned the appointment of the first openly gay Anglican bishop (BBC, video)
- Archbishop 'regrets' divisions | The consecration of the first openly gay Anglican bishop will not be 'accepted' throughout the church, says the Archbishop of Canterbury (BBC, video)
- Ceremony heartens some, troubles others | For the Rev. Tracey Lind, rector of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland and herself an openly lesbian cleric, it was a moment in the fullness of time for the church (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
- Church split over gay bishop | Leaders in Africa declare they plan to break away from their American counterpart (AFP)
- Consecration triggers great divide | Already, some archbishops, including Sydney's Peter Jensen, have banned Canon Robinson and his supporters from officiating in their dioceses (The Australian)
- Conservative Anglicans won't recognize gay bishop | They say the move had split the church in two (Reuters)
- Conservatives accuse U.S. Episcopalians of splitting church | International leaders respond (Associated Press)
- Despite objections, Whittemore Center erupts in applause for new bishop | The crowd indoors was calm and supportive (Portsmouth Herald, N.H.)
- Diatribes mar consecration of gay bishop | World Anglicanism began a dangerous new chapter in history last night, one fraught with the risk of schism, when an active homosexual was made a bishop of the Church for the first time (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- Diocese will ignore protesters at consecration | The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.,cq an anti-gay group, plans protests both at the University of New Hampshire arena and at six churches in Dover and Durham. (Portsmouth Herald, New Hampshire)
- Dissidents gather for alternative service | Gene Robinson's name wasn't mentioned until halfway through the service (Associated Press)
- Episcopal Church consecrates gay bishop | Robinson became the first man living in an open relationship with a same-sex partner to be so elevated by any mainstream Christian denomination (Newsday)
- Episcopal Church consecrates gay bishop | While pageantry mixed with exultation in the ritual elevating Robinson to bishop of New Hampshire, it seems unlikely the church will hold together in its aftermath (Associated Press)
- Episcopal Church slideshow | Images from yesterday's consecration, the Archbishop of Canterbury's response, and other events (Yahoo)
- Episcopalians consecrate first openly gay bishop | Robinson was enthusiastically cheered throughout most of the late afternoon service (The Washington Post)
- Fellowship prevails in local service where conservative meets liberals | When it was time for the Holy Eucharist during the 10:30 a.m. service yesterday at the Church of the Redeemer, pew after pew emptied toward the center aisle and up to the altar, where the church's rector waited with the diocesan bishop. (Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa.)
- Florida Episcopalians leave church after consecration of gay bishop | In Pembroke Pines, more than 40 members have left a local church and split from the Diocese of Southeast Florida (Associated Press)
- Gay bishop consecrated | The world's first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop was consecrated here yesterday in a ceremony attended by 3,000 well-wishers, 54 bishops, dozens of reporters, and protesters who condemned the church for allowing the event (The Washington Times)
- Gay bishop cops swoop | Protesters including clergy were searched for weapons as the Church of England's first openly gay bishop was sworn in last night. (The Sun, UK)
- Gay bishop divides Anglican Church | Although Robinson's elevation to bishop proceeded apace, the move is exposing divisions throughout the 450-year-old Anglican Church (CTV, Canada)
- Gay consecration splits church | Breakaway by US parishes as Robinson is consecrated (The Guardian, London)
- Kenyan Anglicans to cut ties with gay U.S. bishop (Reuters)
- Kiwi bishop regrets consecration of gay bishop in US | The Anglican Bishop of Wellington has written to parishioners saying he regrets the ordination of a gay priest as bishop in the United States today (Stuff, New Zealand)
- Many Anglicans won't recognize gay bishop | Nigeria, Uganda, others respond (Associated Press)
- Ndungane speaks on gay bishop | Criticizes Sydney archbishop Peter Jensen (The Star, South Africa)
- New bishop sparks concern | Many parishioners strongly object (The Tallahassee Democrat, Florida)
- New Hampshire's Robinson becomes pioneer gay bishop | An openly gay man can speak for God, the Episcopal Church USA proclaimed Sunday as the Rev. V. Gene Robinson was installed as a bishop of New Hampshire. (USA Today)
- NZ joins gay bishop protests | New Zealand and Australian Anglican church leaders have joined their international counterparts in rejecting the consecration of an openly gay bishop in the US Episcopal Church (Reuters)
- Openly gay man becomes Episcopal bishop | Anglican Communion faces splintering (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Openly gay man is made a bishop | The Rev. V. Gene Robinson was consecrated the next bishop of New Hampshire and the first openly gay prelate in the Episcopal Church U.S.A. on Sunday (The New York Times)
- Parishioners defiantly support their bishop's consecration | Canon Gene Robinson stood before his family, his parishioners and the Anglicans of the world last night and swore to uphold the unity of the church. But as he spoke the words at a sombre service to consecrate him as Bishop of New Hampshire, the Church never seemed more disunited (PA News, U.K.)
- Pastor sits in on rite for gay bishop | John Harper was among seven other delegates from Iowa who voted "yes" to confirm Robinson. One Iowa delegate voted no. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)
- Priest calls for reforms in Anglican Church | The Reverend Dr Victor Atta-Baffoe, a lecturer at the Saint Nicholas Theological College in Cape Coast, has called for radical reforms in the Anglican Church in Ghana to ensure its sustainable growth and development. (GhanaWeb, Ghana)
- Raised signs, voices at UNH | As 2,500 to 3,000 people came to celebrate the consecration of V. Gene Robinson as Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, they were forced to enter the arena through a corridor defined by 12 screaming protesters with graphic signs condemning homosexuality on one side, and about 300 students on the other, trying to drown them out with songs and shouts about God's love (The Boston Globe,video)
- Reactions among locals split | Reactions to the consecration of an openly gay Episcopal bishop Sunday illustrate the divisive nature of the issue within the denomination and in the local diocese. (GoMemphis.com, TN)
- Rift on gay bishop felt here, too | Area Episcopalians spent All Saints' Sunday attending services, celebrating baptisms, praising the Lord together and learning to worship in disagreement over the consecration of the church's first gay bishop (New Haven Register, Conn.)
- Robinson consecrated as bishop | He urges listeners to embrace critics (Concord Monitor, N.H.)
- Robinson elevated as first gay bishop | Ovations, protest greet Episcopal ceremony in N.H. (The Boston Globe, video)
- Robinson's protesters, supporters converge on Durham for ceremony | . Intense controversy surrounded the event, as the now consecrated Robinson is the only openly gay Episcopal bishop in the church. (Portsmouth Herald, New Hampshire)
- Robinson's consecration quotes | Quotes from and about Sunday's consecration of Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson (Associated Press)
- State's Episcopalians have reason to celebrate today | Today, we join others across the state and nation in recognizing the consecration of the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson. (Editorial, Portsmouth Herald, New Hampshire)
- 'The communion is already broken. Now just prepare for the backlash' | So says Gregory Venables, primate of several South American countries (The Independent, London)
- Two views from the pulpit - in just one church | A Sunday in South Africa highlights church divide (The Guardian, London)
- Unholy row reaches its peak | The ceremony was being treated as a landmark event for gay activists, American Episcopalians, their fellow Anglicans in other nations and Christianity in general (The Scotsman)
- US Episcopal Church consecrates first gay bishop, sparking furor (AFP)
- Williams anger as ceremony for gay bishop tears Church apart | The worldwide Anglican Church was torn apart last night, with the Archbishop of Canterbury leading the critics of its first openly active homosexual bishop (The Daily Telegraph, London)
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