Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Proposal for the Anglican Communion: Getting a divorce AND staying at the table

By the Rev. Clark West

Recently, in response to a post on the website of Canon Kendall Harmon, canon theologian to the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and a leading voice against the ordination of gays and lesbians and blessings of same-sex couples, I wrote the following words:

" Canon Kendall has rightly pointed out in his comments on Bishop Robinson’s recent open letter following the New Orleans meeting of the house of bishops, many, including Bishop Robinson, are beginning to question the legitimacy of such a distinction between public and private. I myself share Bishop Robinson’s rejection of that distinction, and agree with him that it is unsustainable theologically and ecclesiologically.

"To that extent, I would agree with both Gene and Kendall, who, as odd as it may sound, actually seem to agree that a forward movement for all of us will involve more boldness on the part of ECUSA bishops and dioceses in affirming openly public rites of blessing for gay, lesbian, and transgendered persons. That this will put us on a path of separation from the Anglican Communion (I’m tempted to call it a divorce, a word which as an Anglican, and not a Roman Catholic, I do not fear, but can see as having its own blessings and grace) is a consequence I think we need to accept.

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