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 ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.