Thursday, February 24, 2005

Anglican leaders ask U.S., Canadian churches to withdraw temporarily from the Communion

The issue of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion has reached fevered pitch.

I promised myself not to blog about it because, to be honest, I'm tired of the whole debate. Between parliament's bill to recognize same sex unions and the ELCIC's fight over the local option, (for the uniniated, the local option is allowing individual congregations to decide for themselves whether or not they will bless same sex unions) I feel like I'm all debated out.

But having said that,

...we ask our fellow primates to use their best influence to persuade their brothers and sisters to exercise a moratorium on public rites of blessing for same-sex unions and on the consecration of any bishop living in a sexual relationship outside Christian marriage.

Read the rest here.

For the actual communique, click here.

This seems to be an indication of the localization of religion. While it's important for churches to be in community, I wonder where this community ends. Worldwide, the cultural differences within the Anglican Communion are staggering. Is this more of a cultural divide than a theological one? Can the evangelicals within the Canadian church who ally themselves with their African conferes stomach other issues such as African church leaders turning a blind eye to polygamy within African churches?

The Anglican Church of Canada can function autonomously if they do volunteer to remove themselves from the Communion. But the question remains, does such a move compromise the essence of what it means to be an Anglican Christian; being in communion with others who share the same historical foundation? Or has that communion and unity come with too high a price?

Until this is resolved, I think it is imperative that the Anglican Church of Canada continue to chart its own course, independant of outside influence, forge partnerships with likeminded churches. Maybe we'll see a new communion between the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada.

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