Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Church of England General Synod :: Observor

At the synod the church's bishops will try to head off calls for fairer treatment for gay people and an opposite motion from conservative evangelicals to harden its line against civil partnerships for same sex couples. In attempts to emasculate the motions, the bishops of Gloucester and Liverpool will move amendments seeking "to prevent the diversity of opinion about human sexuality creating further division and impaired fellowship within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion".

The moves to avoid further divisions come as concern rises about next week's meeting in Tanzania of the church's 38 archbishops and presiding bishops from around the world at which African church leaders are threatening to walk out if the American presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts-Schori, is allowed to attend, because of her support for the US's gay bishop, Gene Robinson, and for blessings of gay couples.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is due to preside over the meeting, is said to be nervous that the meeting will break up in disorder with the third largest Christian denomination finally being plunged into schism because of its divisions over homosexuality.

If the US Episcopal Church does withdraw, it is likely to plunge Anglicanism into a financial as well as a doctrinal quagmire, since it underwrites the activities of the worldwide communion.

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