Lambeth Conference Concludes with Call for Moratorium on Gay Bishops

August 04, 2008 02:45 PM
by Anne Szustek

The Archbishop of Canterbury ended the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Communion's decennial policy forum, by saying the church needs “space for study” about gay clergy.

30-Second Summary

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said during his closing statement at the Lambeth Conference on Sunday, "If the North American churches don't accept the need for moratoria...we are not further forward. That means as a communion, we continue to be in grave peril."

The Canadian Anglican church and the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, have quietly accepted church blessings of same-sex couples for some time. And in 2003, the Episcopal Church ordained openly gay bishop V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire. His ordination is thought to be a main sticking point for traditionalist bishops from the developing world, of whom 230 boycotted Lambeth, instead attending the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon), held in Jerusalem in June.

Williams' statements were meant to stop the church from further schism. Robinson was not invited to the Lambeth Conference.

The role of gays was a main topic of a meeting of 160-odd Episcopal bishops last September in New Orleans. In a move to assuage conservative dioceses, the clergy pledged to “exercise restraint” and not instate more gay bishops or formulate a liturgy for same-sex matrimony.

The 1998 conference ruled that gays should be embraced as members of the church, yet it “cannot advise” ordination of homosexuals or bless gay marriages.

Headline Link: ‘Anglican Leader Seeks Moratorium on Gay Bishops'

Video: ‘Anger at Church “Gay Wedding”’

Background: The 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution on gays, lead-up to 2008 conference

Related Topic: ‘Vatican Puts Its Foot Down on Female Priests’

Reference: The Anglican Communion


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