Anglican gay row reignited

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Rows seem to be re-emerging within the Anglican communion just days after the Episcopal Church refused to ban gay clergy at its general convention.

The US Episcopal Church agreed on a watered down version of a proposal last week which would have banned the appointment of gay clergy.

The denomination’s General Convention instead agreed to “exercise restraint” in ordaining gay bishops, as part of an effort to amend rifts within the Anglican Church after the appointment of gay bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson in 2003.

The African Anglican Church expressed dismay at the decisions which ignored most of the recommendations of the Windsor Report which aimed to mend rifts between the church over the gay issue.

Reverend Peter Akinola, on behalf of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA,) said: “We have been especially concerned by the development of your response to The Windsor Report, which has been reported to us quite extensively. This is something for which we have earnestly prayed. We are, however, saddened that the reports to date of your elections and actions suggest that you are unable to embrace the essential recommendations of the Windsor Report and the 2005 Primates Communiqué necessary for the healing of our divisions.

“We have observed the commitment shown by your church to the full participation of people in same gender sexual relationships in civic life, church life and leadership. We have noted the many affirmations of this throughout the Convention. As you know, our Churches cannot reconcile this with the teaching on marriage set out in the Holy Scriptures and repeatedly affirmed throughout the Anglican Communion. All four Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion advised you against taking and continuing these commitments and actions prior to your General Convention in 2003.”

The Episcopal conference also welcomed an expression of regret for “straining the bonds of affection” within the Anglican Communion over the issue.