Saturday, December 27, 2008

Will a Fierce Battle Over Gay Rights Split the Anglican Church?

[AlterNet] 27 Dec 2008--On the brink of a split in the global Anglican Communion that no one is eager to enlarge on, the Province of the Southern Cone of South America has become a temporary refuge for conservative bishops from the United States who refuse to countenance the liberal positions taken by the Church in their country.

The crisis began when gay bishops and same-sex unions, including clergy, were accepted in Anglican (or Episcopal) provinces in Canada and the United States. Conservatives who disapproved of these developments fell out with their church communities and sought pastoral oversight from South American provinces, further away geographically but theologically more compatible.

"Nobody (in the Anglican Communion) wants to say let's get a divorce, but when a relationship isn't working, someone has to decide whether or not they stay together, and no one here wants to make the decision," Gregory Venables, the primate (presiding bishop) of the Province of the Southern Cone, which includes the dioceses of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, told IPS.

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