Monday, October 08, 2007

To be or not to be (at Lambeth)

From the Telegraph (U.K.):

. . . The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, said he would find it difficult to attend a Church council alongside those who consecrated or approved the appointment of Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop.

His comments are fresh evidence of the divisions within the Church of England over the issues and will exacerbate the difficulties facing the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in maintaining unity.

Bishop Nazir-Ali's conservative views are thought to be shared by as many as one in four of his colleagues.

Another conservative, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, has claimed more than half of English bishops are considering whether to attend the Lambeth Conference, the ten-yearly gathering of all Anglican bishops, in Canterbury.

Bishop Nazir-Ali's remarks come at a hugely sensitive time for Dr Williams, who is fighting to keep the liberal American bishops in the worldwide Church despite pressure from conservatives to expel them for consecrating Gene Robinson in 2003.

Bishop Nazir-Ali said profound differences needed to be resolved because the American Church had now drifted apart from traditional Christianity in a number of fundamental areas.

He claimed that American clergy were increasingly weaving other faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism into their worship and many regarded the Bible as a man-made book that could be rewritten rather than a revelation from God.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Bishop Nazir-Ali backed the calls of African archbishops for Dr Williams to convene an emergency meeting of all the primates to decide whether to discipline the Americans or postpone Lambeth. . .

Read it all.

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