Over the past few weeks, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC), Katharine Jefferts Schori, has responded pointedly to the removal of TEC’s members from Anglican Communion commissions dealing with ecumenical relations and matters of the Communion’s “faith and order”. The removal itself was announced at the end of May in a letter to the Communion by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. It was later explicated by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Canon Kenneth Kearon, during visits to the Canadian church’s General Synod, and TEC’s Executive Council. At issue, of course, is TEC’s decision earlier this year, to go forward with the consecration of a partnered lesbian, Mary Glasspool, as a bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles. And this decision, according to Achbishop Williams and Canon Kearon, is one that goes counter to a consistently articulated position by Communion councils. These councils have, over and over, insisted that church affirmations of same-sex partnerships are, on the basis of Scriptural teaching, contrary to the “mind of the Communion”, and therefore that e.g. the consecration of partnered homosexual bishops and church-administered same-sex blessings should cease among member churches.
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