Anglican Archbishop names conservatives, liberals to gay commission
October 29, 2003
LONDON — Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Wednesday named a mix
of conservative and liberal church leaders to a commission that
will examine the crisis over homosexuality that is wracking the
Williams said the commission, created at a London summit of
Anglican leaders earlier this month, would be chaired by Archbishop
Robin Eames, a moderate who leads the Anglican Church of Ireland.
The body will study the selection of openly gay cleric V. Gene
Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire and blessings given to same-sex
couples by the Canadian diocese of New Westminster in British
Anglican leaders warned at the London summit that the
consecration of Robinson, scheduled for Nov. 2, could shatter a
global communion deeply torn over homosexuality.
Williams said the commission's main task would be to offer
advice on finding a way through the crisis.
"The primates were clear that the Anglican Communion could be
approaching a crucial and critical point in its life," he said in a
"The responses of provinces to developing events will determine
the future life of our communion in a profound way and we need to
take time for careful prayer, reflection and consideration to
discern God's will for the whole communion.
"This commission, under the communion's longest-serving primate,
is intended to contribute to our finding a way forward."
The membership includes conservative figures such as Archbishop
Drexel Gomez of the West Indies alongside Archbishop Barry Morgan
of Wales, who takes a liberal stance on the issue of gays.
Others are Norman Doe, director of the center for law and
religion at Cardiff University in Wales; Anne McGavin, former legal
adviser to the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church;
and Tom Wright, the Bishop of Durham.
Wright earlier this year accused liberals within the Church of
England of being motivated by racial superiority in their
criticisms of conservative clerics such as Peter Akinola, the
Archbishop of Nigeria.
The commission is due to begin its work early next year and
report to Williams by the end of September 2004. þSapa-AP
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