Episcopal Bishops Still at Crossroads

At the request of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, a group of U.S. Episcopal bishops met in September to address the ongoing controversies in the Episcopal Church over the ordination of gays and lesbians and the lines of church authority. “We had honest and frank conversations that confronted the depth of the conflicts that we face,” reported the bishops. “We recognized the need to provide sufficient space, but were unable to come to common agreement on the way forward.”

The meeting was attended by outgoing presiding bishop Frank Griswold and presiding bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori, as well as bishops from four of the seven U.S. dioceses that refuse to submit to Jefferts Schori’s ecclesial authority because she is a woman. In a pastoral letter following the September meeting, Williams prayed for “all those ordinary people of God, in the Episcopal Church and elsewhere, who are puzzled, wearied, or disoriented by our present controversies. … They want to preserve an Anglican identity that they treasure and love passionately but face continuing uncertainty about its future.”

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