Essay by manyman October 2005

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An Anglican Church commission rebuked the Episcopal Church USA

yesterday for ordaining an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and for blessing

same-sex unions, and called for a moratorium on both practices "until

some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges."

In a report issued in London, the commission asked the Episcopal Church

to apologize for causing pain and division in the global Anglican

Communion, the second largest church body in the world, with 77 million

members in 164 countries.

The report also calls for the bishops who consecrated the gay bishop,

V. Gene Robinson, to consider withdrawing from Anglican "functions"

until they offer "an expression of regret." The current and former

presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church were among the more than three dozen

bishops who encircled Bishop Robinson last November and consecrated him

with a laying on of hands.

The report puts the onus on the Episcopal Church to apologize for the

consecration of Bishop Robinson and to stop blessing gay couples or risk

severing ties with other members of the Communion.

Commission members

said such a step was also necessary to maintain the Anglican Church's

relationships with Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, and with

Muslims in countries like Nigeria, home to 17 million Anglicans.

"The report says no to unilateralism," said Archbishop Njongonkulu

Ndungane of Cape Town, one of few African bishops who has expressed support

for the Episcopal Church's decisions. "What the commission is saying

is, let's move together."

The report stops short of saying what would occur if the Episcopal

Church does not offer an apology or continues to bless gay couples. The

report concludes, "There remains a very real danger that we will not

choose to walk together."

Conservatives expressed anger, and some liberals relief, that the

commission did not call for...