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GC2009: Archbishop Rowan Williams Calls TEC to Remain in Anglican Communion

GC2009: Archbishop Rowan Williams Calls TEC to Remain in Anglican Communion

By Michael Heidt,
Special Correspondent

Dr. Rowan Williams, the leader of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion's 55 million adherents, called on The Episcopal Church to remain in the world's third largest Communion of Christians at this morning's Convention Eucharist.

Standing in front of the "Ubuntu Reredos", the Archbishop began his homiletic meditation with two points. Firstly he thanked the Convention for its continued willingness to engage in the "wider life" of the Communion, even though he realized that this came at a cost to many, presumably Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered, Episcopalians. For this, the primate said "many of us are grateful."

His second point may have come as a disappointment to those hoping for a radically inclusive solution to Convention legislation. Dr. Williams admitted that he had come to TEC's 76th General Convention with "hopes and anxieties". He named them saying, "I hope there won't be decisions that will push us further apart." In the polite world of Archiepiscopal Speak that's a fairly clear message, which roughly translated means, "Don't adopt the LGBT resolutions or you'll end up even less a member of the Communion than you are already." The warning made, Dr. Williams went on to say that "the bonds of relationship are deep" and proceeded to give a compelling address on the nature of the Church, life, death and holiness in Christ.

"The Church," he said, must be an "institution which looks death in the face and declares it overcome."

Strong words and apt from a man who is looking at the potential death of the Communion he leads, but the question is, to what extent is The Episcopal Church prepared to listen to the Archbishop's gentle but definite warning?

Not at all, if the likes of Bishops Shaw, Chane, Doss, Swing, Grein, Harris, Dixon et al. have their way - to say nothing of what gender issue pundits are calling an increasingly "gayicized" House of Deputies. The coming week and a half at Anaheim should go some way to seeing the question answered.


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