Monday, July 14, 2008

Another gay issue in the Anglican Communion

As the threat of the issue of gay marriage, and now a gay priest being appointed Bishop threatens to tear apart the Anglican Communion, its 80 million members (making it the 3rd largest church in the world) are receiving no feedback from Queen Elizabeth II.

The Anglican Communion is an association of churches in full communion with the Church of England (which may be regarded as the "mother church" of the worldwide communion) and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Episcopal Church is the official name of the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States. The U.S. National Cathedral belongs to this church, and more than half of U.S. presidents have been members.

Conservative priests yesterday responded with alarm to Dr Morgan’s remarks that he would support the appointment of an openly gay bishop if one was chosen by the Church’s electoral body. They warned such an appointment would be “disastrous” and could even end up splitting the church.

The row comes as leaders from across the Anglican Communion prepare to gather in England this week for the crucial once-a-decade Lambeth Conference.

As Queen, Elizabeth II is the ex-officio "Supreme Governor of the Church of England." It is the Queen who appoints the highest ranking members to the church. A simple statement from the Queen would carry significant impact, and possibly quell the situation. Buckingham Palace, however, remains silent for the moment.

In 2005, a evangelical Christian group begged Queen Elizabeth II to intercede and stop Canada's same-sex marriage bill from becoming law. The group wanted the Queen to instruct her representative as head of state in Canada - Governor General Adrienne Clarkson - not to sign the bill into law. The Queen, however, did not intercede.


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