NewsTue Feb 20, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Anglican Hierarchy ~ US Anglicans Have Seven Months to Shape up or Ship Out
By Hilary White
DAR ES SALAAM, February 20, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The bishops of the Anglican Communion meeting in Tanzania have issued a statement of principles that they say the ultra-liberal US Episcopal Church (ECUSA) must adhere to in order to retain full membership in the Communion.
The bishops wrote that to be part of the Anglican Communion, churches and provinces must adhere to the “faith which is uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures.”
“At the heart of our tensions is the belief that the Episcopal Church has departed from the standard of teaching on human sexuality” by having ordained Robinson and “by permitting Rites of Blessing for same-sex unions,” the Primates write.
The meeting was held February 15-19 in Tanzania’s largest city and is the latest in a series to attempt to address the crisis ensuing since the ordination of an unrepentant homosexual, Gene Robinson, as Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire. The statement asks the US church to cease to ordain homosexual bishops or bless same-sex liaisons and to issue a public acceptance of the 2004 Windsor Report’s recommendations by September 2007.
The draft document reiterates the Windsor Report that upheld “faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage” as the standard for all Christians. The Windsor Report’s affirmation of Christian moral law was rejected by the US and Canadian churches.
The meeting also set up an alternative structure for those Episcopalians who reject the leadership of the new head of ECUSA, Katharine Jefferts Schori, who supports the secularized and sexually permissive trends.
Since the middle of the 20th century, the so-called “sexual revolution” has led many Anglicans of the developed countries in a direction of sexual and doctrinal permissiveness largely rejected by their southern brethren. Today the overwhelming majority of Anglicans live in the “global south”, especially in Africa.
Peter Akinola, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, and leader of the second largest community of Anglicans in the world after England, has been strongly critical of the drift towards secularism and sexual permissiveness of the church in England, the US and Canada. Akinola has demanded that the US and Canadian Anglican churches either adhere to traditional Christian morality and doctrine, or be expelled from the Anglican Communion.
In the US, nine parishes of the diocese of Virginia and a number of other groups have petitioned the Archbishop of Canterbury to be “realigned” to other branches of the Anglican Communion, and the two largest of these specifically sought the oversight of the Church of Nigeria.