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Saturday, December 2, 2006

Open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Episcopalians concerned about demands from traditionalists for "alternative primatial oversight" for bishops and dioceses that do not want to recognize the authority of Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will want to read (and consider signing) this open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Church's official recommendation to Canterbury is here. (Hat tip, Fr Jake)

Update 12.3.06: The small, reactionary Diocese of San Joaquin, Calif., voted yesterday to secede from the Episcopal Church. (Laurie Goodstein and Carolyn Marshall, New York Times 12.3.06, reg req'd)

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 2 December 2006 at 6:14 PM

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h sofia:

December 3, 2006 06:37 PM | Permalink for this comment

I briefly commented on this at my blog, after reading the NY Times article Will Shetterly posted today.

I read the letter you posted and the Episcopal values in it sound so good. What is happening?


December 4, 2006 07:56 AM | Permalink for this comment

The Episcopal Church has been headed for schism for several years as dogmatic traditionalists have protested the election of an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire. Many of these traditionalists have been angry for thirty years, though, and also reject the ordination of women — which made the election of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (considered a liberal) as the national church's presiding bishop the last straw.

The schism is tragic because the U.S. church is constitutionally more liberal than most national churches in the Anglican communion: it elects its bishops, doesn't have an "archbishop," gives laypeople a powerful voice at the national level, and has in the last century largely embraced modern biblical scholarship and many aspects of liberal theology. The rapidly growing Anglican churches in parts of Africa, however, are extremely evangelical and are competing openly with Islam in countries like Nigeria, where the leader of arch-traditionalist Anglicanism is leading the international conservative revolt. Homosexuality especially angers these conservatives, who want the Episcopal Church ejected from the Anglican Communion and want to replace it with a new, dogmatically conservative church installed in its place.

("Division looms for Episcopal Church," Christian Century 7.25.06)

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