Thursday, June 23, 2005

Anglican Church expells entire Canadian and US membership over homosexuality

The global Anglican Church has officially split over the issue of homosexuality. Anglican liberals (mostly in Canada and the US) versus the conservatives (strongest in Africa and Asia).

Leaders of the 38 national Anglican churches around the world chastised the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada asking them to leave the denomination (which basically means that the global Anglican Church is now split into two groups).

They split over two issues: (i) authorizing same-sex unions, and (ii) ordaining openly practicing homosexuals.

The Anglican Consultative Council made the decision. It is based in Britain and is the church's central administrative body. The motion was passed 30 to 28 by secret ballot, with four abstentions.

I think the common evangelical stance on this issue would be very similar to and in agreement with that of most “conservative” or “Biblical” Christian groups: you might not be able to choose what your sexual orientation is, but you can choose your lifestyle (and with God’s help live by your decision to live a lifestyle consistent with Biblical ideals).

Official Anglican Church policy declares gay sex "incompatible with Scripture" and opposes gay ordinations and same-sex blessings.

The U.S. church argued its position in the document, "To Set Our Hope on Christ” that states "members of the Episcopal Church have discerned holiness in same-sex relationships and have come to support the blessing of such unions and the ordination or consecration of persons in those unions."

Bishop Suffragan Catherine Roskam of New York told the Anglican Consultative Council that the church believed "a person living in a same-gendered union may be eligible to lead the flock of Christ." Other US delegates argued that the blessing of same-sex unions constitutes a "new reality, a sacred union".

Conservative Anglicans, however, accused Episcopal Church leaders of ignoring the views of many members of their flock. The conservative American Anglican Council said the composition of the group "represents a revisionist theology and radical wing of the Episcopal Church."

The expulsion is in effect until the next council meeting in 2008.

I am surprised and encouraged that there still exist Anglicans who want to maintain Biblical values. Are splits in a church always a bad thing or can they be good? If there were never any splits in the church then there would still only be one catholic church under Rome (not even the eastern churches would exist as separate groups).

Woman killed in attempted exorcism

At the wake of the 'murdered' nun, the guilty party surrounding her

Reported by AP Press, Mon Jun 20, 2:02 PM ET

They had good intentions, but things were obviously done the wrong way when a monk and four nuns tried to cast out demons from the nun Maricica Irina Cornici of the Holy Trinity convent in northeast Romania.

Four nuns and “a Romanian Orthodox monk [have] been indicted in the death of a 23-year-old nun in an apparent exorcism in which she was allegedly…” treated cruelly by being physically bound to keep her from moving or making any noise for three days.

There are clearly more Biblical ways to deal with these problems. Should the Romanian Orthodox Church examine itself and its teachings as a result of this sorry situation? This has happened before in protestant groups as well.

“the four indicted nuns were charged with depriving a person of liberty resulting in death…”

“If convicted, they could face 25 years in prison.”

When asked whether the nun was mentally ill and in need of medical help instead of exorcism, he [the monk] told the television station, ‘you can't take the devil out of people with pills.’”

“The Romanian Orthodox Church has called the death "abominable" and has suspended [the monk].”

Nuns created a riot when they yelled at a vicar who had come to suspend the monk, scuffles broke out, and riot police had to intervene.