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ECUSA: Griswold Misspoke About What He Said Williams Knew


News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

When Frank Griswold told an interviewer with Beliefnet recently that the present path of ECUSA was "truthful", he was not telling the truth.

He also said, "secrecy is the devil's playground" in order to accommodate homosexuality in the Episcopal Church.

But when he was asked directly if the Archbishop of Canterbury supported the emergence of a Network he disputed such claims.

At the Synod of the Church of England, The Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Rowan Williams offered his support to the newly formed network of orthodox parishes (NACDP) made up of both Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics set up in the United States who oppose the consecration of an openly non-celibate homosexual - V. Gene Robinson - to the historic episcopacy.

Addressing the General Synod of the Church of England he said 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 Eames Commission was being assembled to deal with the crisis in the Anglican Communion over the ordination/consecration and blessings of avowed homosexuals. They 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."

Griswold denied that any such talk of a Network was even under consideration by the Archbishop, which raises the deeper question if the disciplining of the Episcopal Church might not be a reality.

Irish Primate Robin Eames said the issue of "discipline" might be a possibility when he was interviewed while visiting the Bishop of Virginia Peter James Lee recently.

Dr. Williams said the commission, headed by the Primate of Ireland 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.

But Williams faced an equally unprecedented act this week when 14 Primates publicly blasted Griswold and the consecration of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson declaring themselves out of communion with the Episcopal Church.


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