leader of the world's Anglicans says schism over the Bible
and homosexuality within the fellowship is not inevitable,
and he's trying to "maintain as long as possible the
space in which people can have constructive
Canterbury Rowan Williams said he doesn't want to be pushed
by "either extreme" in the debate as he tries to find a way
the Anglican Communion can stay together.
Williams made the
comments in a recent interview with Time magazine.
long-simmering debate among Anglicans over whether gay
relationships violate Scripture broke wide open in
2003 when the Episcopal Church, the U.S. Anglican
body, consecrated the communion's first openly gay
bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
Williams said the
U.S. wing would have been better off deciding first to
approve ordaining clergy in same-sex relationships before
"As it is,
someone living in a relationship not theologically
officially approved by the church is elected to a bishop--I
find that bizarre and puzzling," he said.
Williams does not
have the direct authority to force a solution on
Anglican churches. However, he has decided not to invite
Robinson to a once-a-decade global meeting of Anglican
bishops, called the Lambeth Conference, which will be
held next year.
Williams also did
not invite Bishop Martyn Minns, head of a U.S. network
of breakaway Episcopal churches formed by the conservative
Anglican Church of Nigeria to compete with the
American denomination on its home turf.
"I felt we would
run the risk of their attendance becoming the subject
matter of the conference," Williams said.
theological conservatives are threatening to boycott the
particularly want to be--I wouldn't say blackmailed, but
pressured by either extreme on this," Williams said. "I
think they need to talk to each other and listen to
each other without prejudice." (AP)