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Anglican report fails to heal rift.

London -- The Anglican Commission on Communion issued The Windsor Report on October 18, 2004, in an attempt to heal the most recent rife in the Church. The Report was commissioned by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the commission was chaired by Archbishop Robin

Eames, the Primate of Ireland. The decade-old rift about the place of homosexuality in Anglican doctrine and discipline had been brought to a head by two events: the November 2003 consecration of openly "gay" Gene Robinson as Episcopalian bishop of New Hampshire, U.S.A., and the earlier June 2003 decision of Canadian Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster, B.C., to permit the blessing of same-sex unions in his diocese. These events, criticized in many other autonomous branches of the Anglican communion particularly in Africa and Asia--have prompted talk of the breakup of Anglicanism.

The Windsor Report attempts reconciliation. It called on the U.S. and Canadian churches to "express regret" for having acted as they did. It also called for a moratorium on same-sex blessings until an international consensus is established.

Despite the subsequent public expressions of regret for the hurt caused (in the case of the U.S., by presiding bishop Frank Griswold), both Americans and Canadians are unrepentant of their actions. To quote Bishop Ingham, "To the extent that people feel hurt or injured ... I apologize. But not for the decisions themselves." The majority of both Churches feel that active homosexuals have a "positive contribution" to make to their Church.

Many adherents apparently think that the Anglican community will continue to "muddle through" as it has always done and as it seems to have done again in Great Britain following the formal acceptance of women ministers in November 1992. Despite threats and the formation of the "Faith Forward" movement which still rejects the "ordination" of women, Anglican life seems undisturbed. The departure of some 500 ministers for "Rome" has been softened with their replacement by over a thousand female parsons.

Will the African communities break away? On October 29, they met in Lagos, Nigeria, and let it be known that those North American sections of the Church that embrace homosexuality should be seen as following a different religion. They also criticized the Windsor Report for not going far enough in failing to forcefully condemn same-sex "marriages" and the ordination of "gays." The Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola said that the Nigerian Church intends to set up branches in the United States (Nat. Post, Oct. 30, 2004).
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Title Annotation:Britain; The Windsor Report from the Angican Commission on Communion
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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