April 15, 2005


Connecticut Episcopalians Defy Bishop Over Gay Issues (ANDY NEWMAN, 4/14/05, NY Times)

At a morning service on Tuesday in St. Paul's Church here, a worshiper read a poem urging his pastor to stand firm against the moral decay embodied by the local bishop and the church's national leadership. Fifty miles away in Watertown, a pastor drew chuckles when he asked his flock to pray for the bishop, who has threatened to silence him for his defiance.

All told, six Episcopal churches have rejected the authority of the bishop of the Connecticut Diocese and stopped paying their diocesan dues because of the bishop's liberal views on homosexuality and his support for a gay bishop in New Hampshire.

The bishop, Andrew D. Smith, has responded by threatening to remove the pastors of those congregations from their pulpits if they do not rejoin the fold by Friday. The Rev. Christopher Leighton, the rector of St. Paul's, says a reconciliation will not happen without supernatural intervention. "It would be a miracle," he said. "There's no doubt about it."

The ideological rift in Connecticut is only the latest convulsion in a wave of rebellion shaking the Episcopal church all across the country, fallout from the consecration of a gay Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire in 2003 and the church's softening stance on gay marriage.

In the last year, about a dozen churches have broken with the Episcopal Church USA, the American arm of Anglicanism, and joined Anglican dioceses in Africa and South America whose leaders still view homosexuality as an abomination. Many other churches have split in two, or have joined networks of dissenting churches within the national church.

At the same time, the Episcopal Church USA faces growing opposition in the international Anglican Communion for its position on sexuality.

At some point don't they have to accept that they aren't Episcopalean but Catholic?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 15, 2005 8:29 AM

This is exactly why I never thought thiose involved cared about their Church. One gay clergyman is not worth this.This is

Posted by: RC at April 15, 2005 11:48 AM

They can never be Catholic - the Articles of Religion forbid it. Among other things, transubstantiation is condemned as 'repugnant' to the Word of God.

The 'secular' bishops are fighting a losing battle on this issue. Far better for them to leave a more conservative church and go join the Metropolitan Community Church body. Their robes will help them there.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 15, 2005 11:57 AM


Posted by: oj at April 15, 2005 11:59 AM

OJ: I think they can succeed from the Episcopal Church and join the Anglican Church in Africa which is hard core. The interesting thing is the lengths that the homosexual lobby will go to inorder to win. They simply don't care if they destroy the Episcopal church.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 15, 2005 4:51 PM