Press coverage of the meeting continues.
Updated Saturday 9 a.m.
Church Times has updates to the paper edition:
Pat Ashworth Primates speak of ‘miraculous’ unanimity
and an editorial Fall-out from the Primates’ Meeting
(earlier report Let Christ unite you, Primates advised)
Ruth Gledhill Americans must admit gay error, says Church
THE Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, made it clear yesterday that the Anglican churches of the US and Canada will have to admit that they are in the wrong over homosexuality if the unity of the Anglican Church is to be preserved.
Dr Williams, speaking in Northern Ireland at the end of the week-long primates’ discussions of the crisis that has brought the Church to the brink of schism, said: “There is no painless solution.
“Any lasting solution will require people to say, somewhere along the line, that they were wrong, wrong about something. What, I do not know. That is for them to determine. It is perfectly possible to take a decision in good faith and afterwards to think, ‘I had not counted the cost’.” …
and an editorial article Come on all ye faithful
…Were God to focus on the question of elevating homosexuals to the Anglican episcopate, He would, presumably, distinguish at once between disagreement based on genuine respect for Scripture, and the contortion of Scripture in order to camouflage mere prejudice. There seems little doubt, however, that the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada have undervalued unity in their precipitate and unilateral moves in favour of same-sex unions and gay bishops. Neither development is necessarily incompatible with Anglican harmony in the long term, but in the short term the suspension of both churches from the Anglican Consultative Council is wise. Time has been bought, and, God willing, sanity and sanctity will prevail.
Stephen Bates Church schism feared despite deal on gays
Owen Bowcott ‘Punishment is for doing what we are all meant to do’
Mark Lawson His only ‘ism’ is schism
and an editorial Divided they stand
Jonathan Petre Church remains at risk of schism on homosexuality, warns Williams
and an editorial Anglicans must fight to keep their Communion
No easy solution to Anglican split, says Williams
and an editorial (text below the fold).
Deal averts split over gay bishops
New York Times
Move to Halt Delegations Is Challenging Episcopalians
Episcopalians Affirm Pro-Gay View
Sydney Morning Herald
Anglican leaders split over gays
National Public Radio
Gay Issues Cause Dischord Within Anglican Union
Anglican Primates Meeting
Episcopal News Service has a page of material, including audio of the press conference and an interview with Frank Griswold:
Primates Meeting 2005 – News and Resources
The BBC has done a major write-through of the story at this URL now titled Lasting split looms for Anglicans which also includes links to a substantial video clip of the press conference and a BBC TV news report.
An act of intolerance by the Anglican church
However the church leaders explain it, the Anglican communion is now heading for an irrevocable split over the issue of gay bishops and single-sex marriage. In a very Church of England manner the primates meeting in Newry, Northern Ireland, yesterday tried to put an emollient gloss on their decision to ask the offending Episcopal Church in the US and the Church of Canada to withdraw their representatives from the governing body of the worldwide church, saying that the withdrawal was only “temporary” to give them time to reconsider their position.
Temporary in this case, however, is all too likely to lead to permanent exclusion. The two recalcitrant churches are in no mood to change their mind on gay marriage and clergy. Nor is there any reason why they should. Their congregations feel that, in the modern world, the church must come to terms with the sexuality of its flock as it is practicised. The teachings of Christ, on their interpretation, do not condemn it. Why should they?
For the majority of the primates called together for this meeting, however, there can be no temporising with the traditional interpretation of the scriptures. Marriage between man and woman is the sacred centre of family life. To sanction sexuality in any other form would be to betray the church’s dearest beliefs. And it is the traditionalists that are in the ascendant not just in the Third World but in the fastest growing parts of the church here..
The Anglican church is not alone in this. The Roman Catholics have similar tensions, only partially suppressed by the authority and conservatism of the present pope. But the Roman Catholic church has the advantage of a disciplined institution in which obedience has a high priority. Anglicanism has always made a virtue of its ambiguity and its willingness to tolerate a broad spectrum of views within its ranks.
In this context yesterday’s decision of its worldwide leaders can only be regarded as a negative one. The majority said that they were not prepared to continue communing with the US and Canadian churches while they proceeded on their liberal path. And it was the majority that prevailed. The responsibility for the split was placed firmly on the two North American churches, the onus for mending the fissure was clearly put on their shoulders. That is wrong for the church and wrong for its future.