(RNS) In a move that took some by surprise, the Anglican Communion voted to censure its American branch, the Episcopal Church USA.
At a private meeting in Canterbury, England, the home of the Anglican Communion, leaders voted Thursday (Jan. 14) to suspend the Episcopal Church from voting and decision-making for a period of three years.
Not sure the title is quite right since the article says, “This is not kicking the Episcopal Church out of the Anglican Communion." I look forward though to actual Episcopalians who follow and espouse actions taken by their church to weigh in. They know far more than most of us I would think who are not such Episcopalians. I know ComplineSanFran is one CAF poster whose knowledge of and insight into TEC I greatly respect and I would hope she or he offers us some guidance on this matter.
I read in the story that Jim Naughton, former canon for the Archdiocese of Washington and now a communications consultant specializing in the Episcopal Church, called the sanctions an attempt by the primates to take power away from elected bodies and claim it for themselves and he says he expects no impact in the life of TEC.
And Kevin Eckstrom, director of communications for Washington National Cathedral, the seat of newly-installed Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry, said while this suspension will be greeted by sadness, it has been on a parallel track with the Anglican Communion for a while. He said is not unlike a couple who are having marital problems and are sleeping in separate bedrooms, and that maybe now they are going to formalize the separation.
Personally I wonder if TEC will at some point simply continue to be a place of worship for those who yearn for litugical worship and some tradition yet who simply are perhaps somewhat more progressive on social issues and theological ones such as female ordination and open communion. A place where they continue to experience God on their journeys.
I’m not Episcopalian but that doesn’t mean there is not a lot I love about TEC and our brother and sister Christians within the church and I sure have them in my hearts today. May God continue to bless all those who have found Him and a home in TEC.
We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.
Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.
All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.
The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching…
Anglican leaders on Thursday temporarily restricted the role of the U.S. Episcopal Church in their global fellowship as a sanction over the American church’s acceptance of gay marriage.
Episcopalians have been barred for three years from any policy-setting positions in the Anglican Communion while a task force is formed that will try to reconcile conflicting views over sexuality in the 85-million-member family of churches. The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States.
The announcement came near the end of a weeklong meeting in Canterbury, England, called by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, to heal rifts over same-sex relationships and keep the Anglican Communion from splitting apart. Welby, the Anglican spiritual leader, has set a news conference Friday in Canterbury to explain the leaders’ decision.
The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.
Anglicans opened a can of worms when they allowed for contraception in marriage, and other denominations followed. While they affirm two of the three Augustinian goods of marriage, fidelity and permanence, the abandoned the third, openness to new life. Once you exclude openness to new life, on what theological basis do you stand against same sex marriage?
Blessed Paul VI was indeed a prophet, and it is very sad that it took so long for the world to see he was right in affirming the unchangeable Tradition of the Church on this matter.
Which Episcopal church? They are fragmented themselves. :shrug: Please pray for the Anglican leadership, that they seek to return to the roots of our faith. It’s beginning to look like a dogs breakfast.
I’m not so sure… The Presbyterians had a similar very big split between conservative denominations that remain faithful to the Bible’s teaching and liberal denominations that rejected it. The disagreement started over female ordination in our case. (Tellingly the problems spread to many other issues. The liberal branch now has a weak stance on abortion and divorce, and affirms Homosexuality, or is on its way to doing so.) Our church (the conservative side) has no rules against (non abortive, within-marriage) contraception and we’re not about to change our position on Homosexuality anytime soon. So the two do not necessarily go hand in hand and many churches that allow or do not strongly reject contraception do not approve of homosexuality.
Remember, unlike contraception, homosexuality is explicitly condemned in the Bible. Even people who reject parts of Augustinian philosophy can see that. That being said I see your point, it is well stated, and it made me pause and think. Perhaps churches should reconsider their position in light of the disastrous (and soon to get worse) “sexual revolution.”
It is true that you will not find a scripture verse that says “You shall not use Trojan Condoms, Depo-Provera injections, Ortho-Novum pills, or Mirena IUD’s. The bible as a whole clearly teaches the value of children. God’s first command to Adam and Eve was given while they were still in the state of grace:
[size=]God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.”[/size]
Even when they sinned greatly, God chose to redeem them through one of their descendants.
Abraham was rewarded for his great faith and obedience, not with wealth, power, free time, or a luxury condominium on Santorini. God promised and delivered to Abraham a son. When Abraham was asked to make a sacrifice he chose not to withhold even his greatest love, and this prefigures an even greater sacrifice.
When Sodom and Gomorrah become so corrupt that there are not even ten righteous people living there, God destroys them. It was not necessary to destroy them, because their own choices would destroy them naturally.
In Genesis 38:8-10 Onan is punished with death for selfishly spilling his seed on the ground.
Most telling, we are not able to appreciate how much God loves us until we find out that He is also a Father: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
When Saint Paul recommends celibacy in chapter 7 of First Corinthians it is only to be more free to serve the Lord. The idea of remaining without a family for one’s own pleasure would be repugnant to him.
The idea that children are merely a burden to be avoided by any means possible is about as contrary to scripture as anything could be.
For those interested, there is an exact same thread about the Episcopalians going on in the non-Catholic subforum. Some Episcopalians have offered their insights there including a statement released by TEC’s presiding bishop, Bishop Curry.