The ordination of the gay canon, Jerry John as the new Dean of St.Albans earlier this week in England has made conservative Anglicans furious.
Following the previous approval of a gay bishop in the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire in America, the Anglican community, which is the dominate faith group in the UK, is now suffering from a division of opinion concerning gay clergy.
The Archbishop of Canterbury of the Church of England, Dr. Rowan William is working on the Lambeth commission with the other 18 members of bishops aimed to examine Anglican Communion life in the light of recent events. It is expected to resolve the gay clergy crisis in the Anglican community.
Now, even the retired Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey voices his warnings of the gay bishop threat. He said that the American branch of Anglicanism, the Episcopal Church's consecration of openly gay Gene Robinson as a bishop last November went too far.
Lord Carey warned that approval of gay clergy fractured the church to such an extent that ¡°we are in danger¡±. He was in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a summit called by the conservative Anglican Communion Institute, which outlined a series of proposed punishments for the Episcopal Church.
Concerning the homosexuality issue, the Church of England ¡¯s view is that:
- Sexual intercourse is an act of total commitment which belongs properly within a permanent married relationship;
- Fornication and adultery are sins against this ideal, and are to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion;
- Homosexual genital acts also fall short of this ideal, and are likewise to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion;
- All Christians are called to be exemplary in all spheres of morality, including sexual morality, and that holiness of life is particularly required of Christian leaders.
¡°I think it¡¯s gone beyond the Scripture and the Christian tradition,¡± said Lord Carey, who retired as Archbishop in 2002.
Among the new proposals was the idea of barring bishops who supported Robinson¡¯s consecration from attending certain meetings, including those called by the Archbishop of Canterbury. If they do attend, they would have no voice or vote on decisions.
The institute also outlined a plan in which individual parishes that supported Robinson¡¯s ordination would remove themselves from the Episcopal Church and become independent.
Lord Carey appreciates that the proposal is a good guideline with the potential to keep the Anglican Communion together.
The Reverend Christopher Seitz, president of the institute, said the group had submitted its proposed punishments to the Lambeth Commission, set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to discuss the implications of Robinson¡¯s consecration.
Worldwide Anglican leaders have also showed great concern for the gay clergy issue. Particularly the Anglican leaders in Asia, Africa and Latin America acknowledged that gay sex violates scripture. Archbishops from Africa have said they will reject donations from any diocese that recognises gay clergy.