Russian Orthodox Church suspends ties with Anglicans over gay bishop
September 5, 2003
MOSCOW — The Russian Orthodox Church is suspending its relations with the
Episcopalians, the US wing of the Anglican church, over the
ordainment of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson, the patriarchate
said Monday in a statement.
"In view of the situation, the Russian Orthodox Church is
obliged to suspend the work of the joint coordination committee
(formed in the early 1990s) and freeze its relations with the
Episcopalian church in the United States," the statement said,
making no specific reference to Anglicanism.
"We see great danger in the processes that under way in the
American Episcopalian church and certain other Christian
communities in the Western world," the patriarchate said.
"People are gradually becoming accustomed to viewing
homosexuality as not a deviation or a perversion but as just a form
of 'love' that the Church can even bless," it said.
Referring to the decision by the Episcopal church earlier this
year to allow local communities and parishes to bless homosexual
couples, the Russian Orthodox authorities warned against what it
described as a "terrible consequence: people of a normal sexual
orientation moving towards homosexuality."
The Russian Orthodox hierarchy has adopted an uncompromising
position on the issue of homosexuality, annulling a gay marriage
carried out by a priest in the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod last
September and defrocking the priest who conducted the ceremony.
The world Anglican community has been strongly divided on the
November 2 consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, as
bishop of New Hampshire. –Sapa-AFP
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