COLUMBUS, OH: The Episcopal Church Is Now That "Gay Church,' Says AAC Leader
Faithful will find it increasingly hard to remain in ECUSA after convention, Anderson says
By David W. Virtue
Even as the Episcopal General Convention's full response to the wider Anglican Communion remains at this point incomplete, the president of the American Anglican Council (AAC) sees no turnaround in ECUSA's pursuit of the homosexual agenda, noting that nationally the denomination is now known as "the gay church."
"To have a sexual agenda attached to the church is truly unfortunate. When neighbors ask what church you belong too, there is a catch in your throat, you tell them, and then wait for a response. 'Isn't that the gay church of Gene Robinson?' And then you have to explain that that is not my personal belief."
"It is wearing on all of us being Episcopalians. The church is no longer tolerant, open or inclusive, because there is no room for you and me," he said at a midday briefing for those attending General Convention. "As long as any of us is...left in ECUSA, many feel they are not safe if your voice and mine are not silenced for our comfort," he added.
Anderson said he thought the faithful would see "a path forward," though it was not clear at this point.
He castigated revisionist bishops who have come down hard on fleeing orthodox priests.
"In the last few years ECUSA has become more brutal to those who want to leave," he said. In times past could more easily transfer to an overseas province. Now if a priest cannot stay in ECUSA and wants to affiliate with an overseas province, the responhes of many liberal bishops is "you are inhibited." The priest is summarily deposed without trial.
In fact, he claimed that "There is a new tack (by liberal bishops) to get orthodox priests to renounce their orders" - to get the faithful clergy to remove themselves without bishops having to do so.
"I would urge clergy who are being demanded by their bishop to renounce their orders - don't do it. You have only one set of orders. If you renounce them you cannot be transferred into any other province. Let them welcome you in even as an inhibited priest. The Episcopal Church can go about the game of deposing anybody they want. I am surprised they haven't deposed an African archbishop."
Anderson said he had a "wall of honor" of clergy who have paid the price and who have put their lives and families on the line for the sake of the truth and the gospel.
Anderson predicted that following General Convention, some dioceses, parishes, priests and laity will stay in ECUSA for the foreseeable future, but it is going to be increasingly hard.
The AAC has an increasing ministry of pastoral support, he said. "It will get harder and harder as the pressure increases; those in the process of leaving give us a call."
Anderson said his organization stands ready to help those who are on the outside. "We want to help the growing entity of the Diaspora. We need to build a health care program."
He concluded by saying that God does not ask us to be successful but faithful, but that he hoped that "the ears of the global community will hear our cry and act."
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