Anglican leaders called to transcend differences - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
June 14, 2005

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Anglican leaders called to transcend differences

-14/06/05

Affirming Catholicism, the Anglican movement founded 15 years ago by Christian thinkers such as Rowan Williams, has written to delegates of the forthcoming Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) calling on them to respect different approaches on the issue of sexuality and to resist calls to split up the communion by giving lesbian and gay Christians a fair hearing.

The ACC is due to meet in Nottingham, England this Sunday 19 June to begin 10 days of deliberations on Anglican and world affairs. During the meeting, a major debate will take place on the controversial actions of North American Churches in 2003 when the Canadian Church authorised blessings of same-gender relationships and the American Church ordained an openly gay man as bishop.

The letter to delegates came from The Revíd Richard Jenkins, Director of the movement.

It suggested that now was the time for the ACC to honour repeated pledges of Anglican Bishops to listen to the experience of lesbian and gay Christians by committing themselves to a process which won their confidence.

The letter also suggested that different approaches to homosexuality were not ëcommunion breakingí but that ëit is entirely possible to accept that the bonds of communion, even between provinces apparently divided on important matters, remain close and strong.í

Speaking today ahead of the meeting, Fr Jenkins said; "Our hope is that the Communion recovers the hallmark of authentic Anglicanism which is our ability to respect the response of the individual conscience to the faith we all share. That includes respecting the integrity of lesbian and gay Christians. The world needs Anglicans to give a compassionate common witness to the gospel and weíre praying for Christian charity to transcend human difference."

Affirming Catholics from both sides of the Atlantic will be present in Nottingham for the duration of the meeting taking part in prayer vigils and services as a partner of the Inclusive Church network.

The Anglican Consultative Council is made up of lay and ordained delegates from each of the Anglican Communionís 38 provinces. The body meets every three years.

The meeting will hear presentations from the North American Churches on 21 June, and consider pledges to listen to lesbian and gay people on 22 June.

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