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Evangelicals say 13m back anti-gay move

Evangelicals say 13m back anti-gay move

Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
The Guardian
Wednesday December 31, 2003

Evangelicals opposed to gay people within the Anglican communion presented an email petition yesterday to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, calling on him to provide alternative oversight for those congregations which oppose bishops supporting Gene Robinson, the gay bishop of New Hampshire.

The petition's organisers claimed it was backed by more than 13 million church-goers.

The move was the latest flexing of muscles by traditionalists who have mobilised recently against any relaxation of the church's opposition to homosexuals. It came against a backdrop of threats to split the worldwide communion which Dr Williams heads.

But there was some doubt about how many of those who had allegedly signed up either knew of the petition or supported it, since heads of families, clergy, bishops and archbishops were allowed to sign on behalf of all their family members, parishes, dioceses and provinces.

Support for the document rose from about 500,000 to 13 million in the last few days.

The organisers claimed the support of five primates, all from the developing world, eight bishops, though none from English dioceses, 4,013 individuals, 3,192 families, 249 parishes, eight of the communion's 500 dioceses and everyone in the five provinces represented by the archbishop signatories. That included the entire church in Uganda, south-east Asia, the Congo, Central Africa, Kenya, the Indian ocean and the 22,000 Anglicans living in South America.

Described to those signing it as "your Christmas gift to the Anglican communion", the petition was said to be "your chance to make the Anglican communion as God intends it to be". The organisers claimed it showed "a majority" of the church's 70 million members across the world opposed the consecration o f Canon Robinson, whose election by the New England diocese was endorsed by US Episcopalians meeting at their annual convention in Minneapolis in August .

The petition dismissed the majority votes, including two-thirds of US bishops, as showing "contempt by a minority group" within the church.

Bishop Robinson was consecrated in New Hampshire by the head of the US church, Frank Griswold, in November and will succeed the current diocesan for the state in the spring.

The petition was organised by Anglican Mainstream, a group of conservative English evangelicals, which sprang up following the group's successful mobilisation of opposition to the appointment of Jeffrey John, a gay priest, to the suffragan bishopric of Reading last summer.

Dr John was forced to stand down by Dr Williams, who had earlier endorsed his appointment.

The group is centred on the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, which support s evangelical theological training for students from the developing world and has received funding from the Californian fundamentalist billionaire Howard F. Ahmanson.

The petition called on Archbishop Williams to no longer recognise the ministries of any bishop who attended Bishop Robinson's consecration and to authorise traditionalist bishops to minister to congregations which can no longer20 support their bishops.

The organisers also promised to pray for the archbishop and for all those "who are confused or living in sin".




Support So Far


Most Revd Livingstone Mpalanyi-Nkoyoyo and the Church of the Uganda
Archbishop Yong Ping Chung and the Province of South East Asia
Presiding Bishop Greg Venables, Southern Cone
Archbishop Fidelis Dirokpa and the Province of the Congo
Rt Rev Dr Bernard Malango and the Province of Central Africa
Most Rev Benjamin M Nzimbi and the Anglican Church of Kenya

Rt Rev Peter John Lee and Bishops Council, Diocese of Christ the King, CPSA
Rt Rev Jack Iker and Diocese of Fort Worth
Rt Rev Stephen K Nyorsok and Diocese of Kitale Kenya
Rt Rev Dr Glenn N Davies, North Sydney
Rt Rev Stephen Hale, Melbourne
Rt Rev Colin Bazley, Former Primate Southern Cone
Rt Rev Louis Tsui & Eastern Kowloon
Rt Rev John Jun'ichiro Furumoto, Diocese of Kobe, Japan

Canon David Anderson (AAC)
David Peterson, Principal, Oak Hill College
Peter C Moore, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry
Rev Ulric Gerry University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy

Rev Jude Edomwonyi, St Augustine, Bahamas
Preb Richard Bewes and All Souls Langham Place, London
Rev Susan H Crane and Iglesia de San Mat=EDas, Tennessee
Rev Vincent Rakotoarisoa, St Peter's Ambanidia, Antananarivo, Madagascar
Rev Ed Hird and St Simon's, New Westminster
Rev Paul Harcourt and All Saints Woodford Wells, Chelmsford
Holy Spirit Anglican Church, Recife, Brazil
Church of the Redeemer, South West Florida
Rev Joanne Beacon and Humboldt Parish Saskatoon

4.013 individuals
11,665 in 3,192 families
69,922 in 249 parishes and organisations
198,600 in 8 dioceses
13,334,000 in 5 provinces

As of 12:00 GMT, 29/12/03

New Hampshire Consecration
Attending Bishops

The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and Chief Consecrator

The Most Rev. Martin De Jesus Barahona
Primate of the Province of Central America and Bishop of El Salvador


Bishop Krister Stendahl, Lutheran Church of Sweden, Bishop Emeritus of
Stockholm and Co-consecrator
The Rt. Rev. Bruce Stavert, Bishop of Quebec (Anglican Church of Canada)
The Rt. Rev. Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster (Anglican Church of

Episcopal Diocesan Bishops

The Rt. Rev. Joe Burnett, Bishop of Nebraska
The Rt. Rev. John B. Chane, Bishop of Washington
The Rt. Rev. George Councell, Bishop of New Jersey
The Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely, Bishop of Vermont
The Rt. Rev. James J. Jelinek, Bishop of Minnesota
The Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen, Bishop of Maine and co-consecrator
The Rt. Rev. James A. Kelsey, Bishop of Northern Michigan
The Rt. Rev. Jack=A0 M. McKelvey, Bishop of Rochester
The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Bishop of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, Bishop of Connecticut
The Rt. Rev. Douglas Theuner, Bishop of New Hampshire
The Rt. Rev. Orris G. Walker, Jr., Bishop of Long Island

Suffragan, assisting and retired Episcopal Bishops

The Rt. Rev. Craig Anderson, Bishop of South Dakota (retired)
The Rt. Rev. G. P. Mellick Belshaw, Bishop of New Jersey (retired)
The Most Rev. Edmond L. Browning, retired Presiding Bishop and co-consecrato=
The Rt. Rev. Roy F. Cederholm, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Otis Charles, Bishop of Utah (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Bishop of Alaska (resigned)
The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry, Bishop Suffragan of Connecticut
The Rt. Rev. Jane H. Dixon, Bishop Suffragan of Washington (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Herbert A. Donovan, Jr., Bishop of Arkansas (retired) and
The Rt. Rev. A. Theodore Eastman, Bishop of Maryland (retired) and
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts (retired)
and co-consecrator
The Rt. Rev. Donald P. Hart, Assistant Bishop of Southern Virginia
The Rt. Rev. Harold A. Hopkins, Bishop of North Dakota (retired)
The Rt. Rev. George N. Hunt III, Bishop of Rhode Island (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Edward W. Jones, Bishop of Indianapolis (retired)
The Rt. Rev. H. Coleman McGehee, Jr., Bishop of Michigan (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Wilfrido Ramos-Orench, Bishop Suffragaon of Connecticut
The Rt. Rev. Walter C. Righter, Bishop of Iowa (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Hays H. Rockwell, Bishop of Missouri (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Catherine Roskam, Bishop Suffragan of New York
The Rt. Rev. Bennett J. Sims, Bishop of Atlanta (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Philip A. Smith, Bishop of New Hampshire (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Daniel L. Swenson, Bishop of Vermont (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Arthur Walmsley, Bishop of Connecticut (retired)
The Rt. Rev. O'Kelley Whitaker, Bishop of Central New York (retired)
The Rt. Rev. R. Stewart Wood, Jr., Bishop of Michigan (retired)

Attending but not participating

The Rt. Rev. Michael Mayes of Limerick and Killaloe (Church of Ireland)
Dissenting Bishops
The Episcopal Church
Diocesan Bishops
The Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy
The Rt. Rev. James Adams, Bishop of Western Kansas
The Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield
The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh
The Rt. Rev. Bertram N. Herlong, Bishop of Tennessee
The Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog, Bishop of Albany
The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida
The Rt. Rev. Gethin Hughes, Bishop of San Diego
The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth
The Rt. Rev. Russell E. Jacobus, Bishop of Fond du Lac
The Rt. Rev. Stephen Jecko, Bishop of Florida
The Rt. Rev. Terrence Kelshaw, Bishop of Rio Grande
The Rt. Rev. John Lipscomb, Bishop of Southwest Florida
The Rt. Rev. Edward Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina
The Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin
The Rt. Rev. James Stanton, Bishop of Dallas
Suffragan, assisting and/or retired
The Rt. Rev. C. FitzSimons Allison, Bishop of South Carolina (retired)
The Rt. Rev. David Bena, Bishop Suffragan of Albany
The Rt. Rev. Clarence Pope, Bishop of Fort Worth (retired)
The Rt. Rev. C. William Frey, Bishop of Colorado (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Philip Elder, Bishop Suffragan of Guyana (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Hugo Pina-Lopez, Assisting Bishop of Central Florida
The Rt. Rev. Edward MacBurney, Bishop of Quincy (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Earl McArthur, Bishop Suffragan of West Texas (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Donald Parsons, Bishop of Quincy (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Henry Scriven, Assistant Bishop of Pittsburgh
The Rt. Rev. William Wantland, Bishop of Eau Claire (retired)


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