International Anglicans upset with gay bishop's consecration, but aren't breaking communion with full American church
Response to the Episcopal Church USA's first openly gay bishop has been swift, as expected. Among the first critics was the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

"The divisions that are arising are a matter of deep regret; they will be all too visible in the fact that it will not be possible for Gene Robinson's ministry as a bishop to be accepted in every province in the communion," Williams said. This has been generally perceived as a critique of the consecration, which is consistent with his recent statements and support of the recent statement of Anglican primates (leaders of the various Anglican provinces). But it should be noted that Williams didn't explicitly criticize Robinson's elevation to bishop, but made reference to "decisions which appear to go against Catholic order or biblical teaching." Still, he said, "It is clear that those who have consecrated Gene Robinson have acted in good faith on their understanding of what the constitution of the American church permits.'

Anglican leaders from the global South were far more forceful, though their actions were not as radical as some conservatives had hoped. A statement released by released by Nigerian primate Peter Akinola on behalf of the working committee for the Primates of the Global South expresses "profound sadness and pain," and says, "We are appalled that the authorities within the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) have ignored the heartfelt plea of the Communion not to proceed with the scheduled consecration … [which] clearly demonstrates that authorities within ECUSA consider that their cultural-based agenda is of far greater importance than obedience to the Word of God, the integrity of the one mission of God in which we all share, the spiritual welfare and unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion, our ecumenical fellowship and inter-faith relationships."

What that means, Akinola's statement says, is that

  • "The overwhelming majority of the Primates of the Global South cannot and will not recognize the office or ministry of Canon Gene Robinson as a bishop."

  • "A state of impaired communion now exists both within a significant part of ECUSA and between ECUSA and most of the provinces within the Communion."

  • "We urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to bring forward urgently a mechanism to guarantee 'adequate provision of episcopal oversight' for parishes and clergy within ECUSA dioceses and the Diocese of New Westminster with whom we remain in fellowship."

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  • "We … affirm the ministry of the bishops, clergy and laity in ECUSA who have, as a matter of principle, and in fidelity to the historic teaching of the Church, opposed the actions taken at General Convention and objected to the consecration."

Some had expected several provinces to break communion with the Episcopal Church USA altogether. However, not only did the primates stress that their criticism was focused only on those dioceses that supported Robinson's consecration, but that the relationship is one of impaired communion, not broken communion. The difference is important.

Court won't enter Moore's Ten Commandments fight
The Supreme Court rejected appeals by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to overrule lower courts' demand that Moore remove the 10 Commandments monument from the Alabama courthouse. Moore defied the federal order to remove the monument, which was removed after he was suspended as chief justice. Moore had challenged the Court to decide once for all if public 10 Commandments displays violate the Constitution. Lower courts have ruled both ways in the many 10 Commandments cases across the country.

The Associated Press notes that "the Supreme Court's action is not a ruling on the thorny question of whether the Ten Commandments may be displayed in government buildings or in the public square. It merely reflects the high court's unwillingness to hear the appeal."

The Foundation for Moral Law, which supports Moore's legal battle, has not yet posted a response on its website.

More stories on the Robinson consecration:

Sorry these are alphabetical, folks. Later we'll try to "realign" them in more manageable categories.

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