There is a lot of "frustration" coming
out of Episcopalians, who support homosexuality, toward their presiding
by Lillian Kwon, Christian Today US
Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 10:09
There is a lot of "frustration" coming out of Episcopalians, who support
homosexuality, toward their presiding bishop.
In the months ahead of a September deadline when the Episcopal Church must
respond to the Anglican Communion's moratorium on consecrating homosexuals
and authorizing same-sex unions, liberal Episcopalians have begun to
express hostility to recent decisions by their head.
"We're trying to understand why our presiding bishop thinks this is the
right way to proceed," said the Rev. Ruth Meyers, a member of the House of
Deputies of the Episcopal Church, according to The Washington Post.
A month out of a critical meeting in Tanzania with the heads of Anglican
provinces worldwide, U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori had
agreed to "a season of fasting" along with other Anglican leaders. She
called the Episcopal Church to accept the primates' call in an effort to
continue to be a voice at the Anglican table. Jefferts Schori, who
supports the "full inclusion" of homosexuals, believes it is one of the
Episcopal Church's "gifts" to help change other people's understanding
about gay and lesbian Christians.
Still, while conservative Anglicans in the United States have stood in
continued dissidence with the Episcopal Church and its departure from
scriptural authority, including the support for the ordination of
homosexuals, liberal leaders are now responding with "sadness to anger and
everything in between - a lot of disappointment and frustration,"
according to Meyers.
Many Episcopal leaders have already declared their decision that they
would choose the "full inclusion" of homosexuals over the Anglican
Communion. And although Jefferts Schori affirmed the position of the
Episcopal Church in making gays and lesbians an "integral part" of the
body, she signed the Communion's statement last month that called for a
period of restraint.
Some Episcopalians, however, are ready to reject the request of the
primates. "We have to be very clear about where we are as a church,"
Bishop John B. Chane of Washington told The Washington Post. "We have
consented to the consecration of Gene Robinson, and we have - the majority
of dioceses in this country have - allowed the blessing of same-sex
couples for some time."
Robinson's consecration in 2003 heightened the divide in the Episcopal
Church and damaged, as many Anglican leaders say, the U.S. body's
relationship with the rest of the Communion. Many of the Communion's
primates are still seeking "true repentance" from the Episcopal Church for
In a recent public conversation in New York, Jefferts Schori said there
are "aspects of the current situation that cry out for a broader
understanding on all sides. The call is to see those not as competing but
as complementary Christian values."
She also pointed out, "We are being pushed toward a decision by impatient
forces within and outside this church who hunger for clarity . . . If we
can lower the emotional reactivity in the midst of this current
controversy, we just might be able to find a way to live together."
Episcopal bishops from all 111 dioceses in the United States are scheduled
to meet on Friday in Houston to consider their response to the ultimatum
issued in Tanzania.