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CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Synod - ABC Supports Americans Who Oppose Gay Bishop

Williams supports Americans who oppose gay bishop

BY RUTH GLEDHILL, RELIGION CORRESPONDENT
The London Times

The Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Rowan Williams, has offered his support to a network of traditionalist churches being set up in America to oppose the gay Bishop Gene Robinson.

Dr Williams, addressing the General Synod of the Church of England said that he had been following "sympathetically" the discussions about setting up a network to operate within the Episcopal Church of the United States.

His comments came as the commission assembled to resolve the controversy in the Anglican Church over the ordination and blessings of homosexuals met for the first time in Windsor yesterday.

Dr Williams said: "We do, as a communion, face perhaps unprecedentedly difficult challenges and it's all the more important that we keep those involved in these discussions - in controversy and also in the work of the commission — in our prayers, to equip all of us in the communion for the task that lies before us."

He said the commission, headed by the Primate of Ireland, Dr Robin Eames, had been charged with "an exceptionally difficult and delicate task". Because of this, Dr Williams said, it was inappropriate to attempt to second-guess the recommendations "on these large issues
of communion, maintenance of communion and breakage of communion".

He said he was looking for "some sort of shared future and common witness, so far as is possible". The aim is to find a way of offering "episcopal oversight" or pastoral care by bishops to conservative parishes in a form that is acceptable to the ruling liberal majority.

Even as he spoke, however, it became clear that the divisions over homosexuality were deepening when 13 primates from around the world issued a statement condemning once again the actions of the episcopal church of the US.

The primates, headed by the Most Rev Peter Akinola of Nigeria the Most Rev Drexel Gomez of the West Indies and the Most Rev Greg Venables of the Southern Cone said the consecration of Bishop Robinson had "created a situation of grave concern for the entire Anglican Communion and beyond". The action of the American Church was "a direct repudiation of the clear teaching of the Holy Scriptures, historic faith and order of the Church''.

END

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