Pope says Anglican decisions over homosexuality are barrier to unity - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
November 15, 2004

Pope says Anglican decisions over homosexuality are barrier to unity

-15/11/04

The Pope said at the weekend that Christians should be committed to seeking unity of their divided Churches but, in a reference to the row over homosexuality in the Anglican communion, said new ethical obstacles had surfaced.

At a vespers service in St Peter's Basilica to mark the 40th anniversary of a Second Vatican Council document on ecumenism, John Paul II said the commitment to unity should infect ordinary Christians and not just be a matter for experts.

The service at which the Pope spoke was attended by representatives of Anglican and Protestant Churches as well as members of the Orthodox Church, which split from Rome in the Great Schism of 1054.

"Unfortunately, we are faced with new problems, especially those of an ethical nature, where new divisions which impede a common witness have sprouted," he said to some 7,000 people inside the basilica.

This was a clear reference to the crisis currently besieging the Anglican communion after the Episcopal Church in the United States appointed an the openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire.

The 70-million-member Anglican Church, which split from Rome in 1534, has been divided over whether to ordain openly homosexual men and whether to bless same-sex partnerships.

Traditionalist Anglicans, particularly the Africans, have denounced the move. They threaten to break with churches that bless same-sex unions and are considering ways to redraw the Anglican world map to escape liberal provinces.

Last month, Anglicans published the Windsor Report, with suggestions about how to prevent the Anglican communion falling apart over the issue.

It urged North American Episcopalians to introduce a moratorium on same-sex marriages and the consecration of gay bishops. It also suggested both sides in the dispute should express "regret" over the hurt that had been caused.

Pope says Anglican decisions over homosexuality are barrier to unity

-15/11/04

The Pope said at the weekend that Christians should be committed to seeking unity of their divided Churches but, in a reference to the row over homosexuality in the Anglican communion, said new ethical obstacles had surfaced.

At a vespers service in St Peter's Basilica to mark the 40th anniversary of a Second Vatican Council document on ecumenism, John Paul II said the commitment to unity should infect ordinary Christians and not just be a matter for experts.

The service at which the Pope spoke was attended by representatives of Anglican and Protestant Churches as well as members of the Orthodox Church, which split from Rome in the Great Schism of 1054.

"Unfortunately, we are faced with new problems, especially those of an ethical nature, where new divisions which impede a common witness have sprouted," he said to some 7,000 people inside the basilica.

This was a clear reference to the crisis currently besieging the Anglican communion after the Episcopal Church in the United States appointed an the openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire.

The 70-million-member Anglican Church, which split from Rome in 1534, has been divided over whether to ordain openly homosexual men and whether to bless same-sex partnerships.

Traditionalist Anglicans, particularly the Africans, have denounced the move. They threaten to break with churches that bless same-sex unions and are considering ways to redraw the Anglican world map to escape liberal provinces.

Last month, Anglicans published the Windsor Report, with suggestions about how to prevent the Anglican communion falling apart over the issue.

It urged North American Episcopalians to introduce a moratorium on same-sex marriages and the consecration of gay bishops. It also suggested both sides in the dispute should express "regret" over the hurt that had been caused.

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