Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2007
WINNIPEG - The Anglican church and the Evangelical Lutheran church are gathering in this warm Prairie city for the next three days to make contentious decisions over how far to go to sanction homosexual relationships.
Today, both [Bishop Michael] Ingham and Stephen Schuh, a gay Anglican from Vancouver, put forward a motion calling on the synod to affirm it will still be acceptable for him to continue to sanction same-sex blessings in his diocese - no matter what delegates decide this week, probably on Saturday, to do on a national basis.
At a fancy new hotel across the street from the dowdy old one where Anglican delegates are meeting in downtown Winnipeg, Anglican Essentials, a conservative group within the Canadian Anglican denomination, has set up a deluxe facility to serve its members and the secular media, which includes journalists from Britain and the U.S.
Rev. Ian Ritchie, a priest from Ontario who has served in Africa and works with Anglican Essentials, said there could be a "disaster" in the global Anglican communion if delegates voted to approve of what Ingham has done in his Vancouver-area diocese, where almost 20 same-sex rites have been conducted.
The top Anglican in Canada, outgoing Primate Andrew Hutchinson, told delegates today that these are "difficult days" in the worldwide Anglican denomination.
"We are a family of autonomous churches held together by bonds of affection that have frequently been strained, and often mended," Hutchinson said.
Even though there will be disagreement over the same-sex issue, he said it should not divide the Anglican communion.
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