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May 28th, 2010
11:22 AM ET

Archbishop of Canterbury slaps Episcopal Church for openly gay bishops

Rifts within the Anglican Communion could widen after the archbishop of Canterbury, who has condemned the consecration of openly gay bishops, urged a diminished role Friday for the Episcopal Church.

Earlier this month, a Los Angeles, California, diocese ordained the Rev. Mary Glasspool, the first openly gay bishop ordained in the church since 2004, when Gene Robinson took his post in New Hampshire. The U.S. church has taken flak from conservative factions for openly gay ordinations.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the nominal head of Anglican Communion, shared his concern when Glasspool was consecrated, saying then that the move would further divide the 77 million-member worldwide denomination that includes the Episcopal Church in the United States.

On Friday, he made an even stronger statement in a letter to the communion.

"Our Anglican fellowship continues to experience painful division, and the events of recent months have not brought us nearer to full reconciliation," Williams wrote. "There are still things being done that the representative bodies of the Communion have repeatedly pleaded should not be done; and this leads to recrimination, confusion and bitterness all round.

"It is clear that the official bodies of The Episcopal Church have felt in conscience that they cannot go along with what has been asked of them by others, and the consecration of Canon Mary Glasspool on May 15 has been a clear sign of this."

Williams does not have the power to issue edicts like the pope, but he issued a five-page statement suggesting that provinces (such as the Episcopal Church) or national and regional churches that have broken agreed-upon "promises" should step down from participating in interfaith dialogues.

He said they should also relinquish decision-making powers in a committee
that deals with questions of doctrine and authority.

Following Robinson's consecration, the communion leadership laid out
three promises, or moratoria, according to the archbishop of Canterbury
website:

1. No authorization of blessings services for same-sex unions.
2. No consecrations of bishops living in same-sex relationships.
3. No cross-border interventions (no bishop authorizing any ministry
within the diocese of another bishop without explicit permission).

Glasspool has been in an open same-sex relationship for 19 years, a violation of the moratoria. Robinson also was in a same-sex relationship at the time of his consecration.

Bishop Ian Douglas of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut said that while Williams’ statement is “of significance … it’s not as punitive as it might have been.”

He said it was an affirmation of the three moratoria, and he made clear that other churches, not just the Episcopal Church in the U.S., will be affected for having broken promises to the communion as well.

“Many churches across the Anglican Communion because of conscience or their belief in what the Holy Spirit is up to in their local context have lived beyond the moratoria,” Douglas said. “While the moratoria are still before us, such actions do have some ramifications. … If anything, I question the efficacy of the moratoria.”

Douglas also pointed out that not every church is represented on the committees affected by the statement.

“It’s not a question of a privilege being taken away but rather a question of can individuals fully represent the Anglican Communion if the church in which they come chooses to go beyond the limits of given moratoria,” he said.

“It’s another expression of how we’re trying to live with our differences with integrity and not alienate one another,” Douglas said. “I’m still convinced there’s so much more that unites us.”

A spokesman for a conservative Anglican group said, however, that Williams did not go far enough in his rebuke of the Episcopal Church.

Robert Lundy of the American Anglican Council said the Episcopal Church shouldn't be involved in any decision-making bodies within the Anglican Communion as long as it continues to ordain openly gay bishops and violate biblical teachings.

Williams' statement only keeps the Episcopal Church off of certain committees within the communion, Lundy said.

"He [Williams] knows he has to do something because he's under pressure from all sides," he said. "But unfortunately, the step he's taken in our view is not strong enough."

Conservative Anglicans have long called for Williams to punish the Episcopal Church by not inviting the church to the Lambeth Conference, a global meeting of Anglican leaders held every decade.

CNN's Jessica Ravitz and John Blake contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Culture wars • Episcopal • Gay rights

soundoff (389 Responses)
  1. Robin Bray

    Religion is all about controlling others. Nothing else. That is what cults do.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mummers

      You are right. BUT Jesus did not die so we could have a religion. He died so we could have a relationship. There is a huge difference.

      May 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  2. ana

    @John316...i agree...if the church loses their gay rights and abortion rights battle, what else is left to stand against?....they are gonna have to start being FOR something, like the poor, underpriviledged, persecuted mostly in the third world countries but many here as well....but that is not so popular is it?

    May 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Mummers

      They should be standing for ALL of that no matter what the popular opinion is. Quite frankly, I am sick of them battling with these issues when we should be loving people. Loving them will produce much better results then the hatred that usually spews forth to get people to see their side of the issue. Don't get me wrong, people need to know they are sinning but there is a time and a place for everything.

      May 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • JS

      Anna – the interesting thing is that most churches already do this. Feed the poor, help those that are unfortunate or are underprivileged, go to other country's to help their poor. But because they do it in the name of Christ, they are usually rediculed by people because they are "proselytizing". But, if the church dares to take a stand on something that the Scriptures are very clear on, then they get reminded by someone, like yourself, on how they need to stick to helping others. Maybe, perhaps, they should be doing both?? Christ fed the poor, but he also raised some holy hell at the Temple, remember? As a Christian, it's a little frustrating to hear these types of comments that want only one part of Christianity, but not all parts. I.E. you want to know that Christ said feed the poor, but you don't want to know that he said to go and sin no more.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  3. mama panda

    Hmmm. The archbishop is more worried about preventing rifts than he is about assessing the right or wrong of something, in this case, consecrating gay bishops. I don't think that's what Jesus did.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  4. Stephen Bennett

    The Archbishop of Canterbury should mind his own business. I would like to see the Episcopal Church sever its ties with the bigoted Anglican Communion. This just shows to show how so many of todays main-stream churches are all about judging others and power. They certainly do not demonstrate the love of Christ.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • David

      Amen!

      May 28, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
    • MRT

      A friend of mine was smoking in the park and a woman came roaring over to her – started by calling her names and saying she must leave the area to continue smoking... I looked at her and commented "hate the cigarettes – not the person"....
      Hate the sin – not the sinner

      May 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • Jeff

      Did Jesus judge the adulteress when he told her to go and sin no more? What about the other sinners he called to repent of their sins? Was he judging them? The term "judging others" has been greatly misconstrued either by ignorantly or intentionally.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  5. James

    The Archbishop needs to grow a pair and actually direct the Anglican Church to include everyone, as directed by "love one another".

    May 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Jon

      James, does "love one another" mean to be all accepting of all behaviors?

      May 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Albert

      Are you sure that you personally don't have exceptions to this rule? Answer this question wisely, because depending on your answer, I will provide a list that I think will make you think twice.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • TexasR

      It's not all about love. It's also about salvation.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jeff

      I agree wih you on the grow a pair part, but he needs to call the Episcopal Church a reprobate church that is a perversion that celebrates perverts and declare them accursed by God as most assuredly they are.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  6. gary

    I wonder what Christ would do? I'll bet he would welcome gay and lesbian clergy and bishops..just as he would welcome black, brown, yellow and white people to the Church. It was the Church of England that persecuted Puritans, Calvinists, and others who fled to the United States. It seems that the Church of England really hasn't changed over the years.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • True Believer.

      Christ would rebuke them...he hates the sin.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • Jeff

      Instead of wondering what Christ would do, read the Bible and you would know what Christ would do. He would call them to repent of their wicked sin, just like he did with every sinner he encountered.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • Micheal P

      I bet he wouldn't welcome those people in the way you say. He would welcome them as his children and love them for that reason, but he does not condon their actions. You can love someone for who they are and not what they do. There is a BIG difference in the two things. Nice try though in showing how little you know of Christianity.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  7. Jerry

    Bring it on, Rowan! What harm has come to New Hampshire? Thank God there are more modern churches in this world for free people to join if they're so inclined.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  8. Reality

    Said church was established by Henry VIII. Is there anymore to be said?

    May 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Steve

      Actually, the Church in England was founded by Christians in the first century, and produced its first Christian martyr (St Alban) in the second century, well before the establishment of the Bishop of Rome as the head of the Church by Emperor Constantine. It wasn't until 641 AD the last of the British bishops acceded to the control of Rome, even though the Council of Chalcedon had determined in the 6th Century that the primacy of the Pope was absolute only within the Roman Empire. Henry VIII merely reversed the events of 641. His successors introduced important reforms, such as liturgy in the language of the people and permitting clergy to marry, the wisdom of which the Roman Church has recognized in some jurisdictions only in the last Century.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Ralph in Orange Park, FL

      Are you implying that a denomination that only exists because a king wanted to divorce his wife and marry his knocked up teenage girlfriend might stand on less than solid moral ground? Heaven forbid!

      May 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Lee

      To Steve, I think you left out a 1 in your 641. Maybe 1641? I'm not sure where you got your dates for Christianity arriving in England in the first century AD? I doubt that the first Christian in England suddenly grew out of the ground on his own? Was he not a convert from a faith brought from a distant land? I think you're re-writing a little bit of the history, which some in the Church of England like to do to explain away the founding of their Church by an adulteress murderer named Henry VIII (who considered himself a Catholic even to his death).

      May 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Qodex

      Steve's dates are in the right ballpark. Roman traders were spreading Christianity (along with many other religions) in England in the first century AD. There's even some evidence that one or more of the Apostles visited as early as 37 AD. However it's quite a stretch to say this was the "founding of the Church in England". In any case, for several hundred years Christianity was a minor cult. It was Augustine's mission in 597 to King Aethelbert of Kent that marked the beginning of a Christianity as a national religion, but it would be several hundred years and numerous wars until its position was secure. I'm not sure what event in 671 Steve might be referring to.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
    • Liutgard

      Ralph, Anne Boleyn was over 30 when she married Henry. It was her cousin Catherine Howard who was a teenager. Funny thing, both lost their heads...

      June 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  9. Pherran

    What is up with the eyebrows? Does Jesus condemn grooming as well?

    May 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • jojo

      and that's not hate talk is it. who cares what his eyebrows look like. Jesus looks at the heart.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
  10. john316

    Equality has never been a concept of the church, even though the rest of the world is evolving in that direction. Unless they can grasp this concept....they are doomed to follow the dinosaurs into extinction and the history books....

    May 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • JayDee

      And that would be a bad thing???
      Humanity will be so much better off when religion finally meets the fate of the dinasours!

      May 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • Patricia

      Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

      1 John 4:7

      May 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  11. Texas Pete

    well they could always break away like the Church of England did from the Catholic church. However.. so what.. she believes in what she is doing. So never let a biggot keep you from your dreams.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • Shells

      What she does in her private life is her business, yes, but when she stands in front of a congregation and preaches, she needs to be preaching from the Bible. And the Bible is the authority that says the life she is living is sinful. So how can someone willingly choosing to live in sin stand up and tell others not to sin?? You can't pick and choose which sin is okay and which isn't.

      May 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  12. john316

    I think gay rights is the last stand for the churches.....they fought the "flat earth" concept....the heretics of the reformation...justification of slavery as stated in the bible ....multiple wives as shown in the bible....etc....the churches will be left with nothing but intolerance, and fomenting hatred for everything and everyone that doesn't see their view of the world....younger people and most educated people "get it"...but the churches have lost credibility on most issues...they now have to target the third world for their converts....who still think an airplane is a deity of some type.....

    May 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • gagirl

      john 316, your ideas aren't consistent with current or past church history. The ideas that you mention the church supporting or trying to justify were rogue factions of people (such as slave-owners in the South, polygamists in the mid-West, etc.) who have attempted and are attempting to distort Scripture for their own gain. These same people have been most ardently opposed by those in the Church (ex. William Wilberforce who was crucial in abolishing slavery and the slave trade in Great Britain which ignited the movement in the States) who know and proclaim the Truth of the Scripture. The church in America has lost credibility not because its message has lost power, but because we've compromised far too much for far too long for the sake of being "relevant". The Church in places such as China (just to name one) on the other hand is thriving because there isn't any attempt there to water down the Gospel for the sake contemporary culture and the light of the Truth is drawing many...and I doubt you can claim the Chinese think airplanes are gods...so the issue isn't that Christianity is on its last leg, it's just that Americans (not the world) have turned a deaf ear to its message...but it's still our (the church's) job to correct and rebuke each other, not the world's.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Albert

      Please do not confuse what the churches say with what the Bible teaches. The Bible for example made it clear that the earth was a sphere. Many of the traditions that churches teach and practice are not Biblical. Take Christmas and Easter for example. I challenge anyone to show from the scripture that Jesus was born on December 25 or the relevance of a christmas tree, Santa Clause, etc. Also show us where the Bible speaks of Easter eggs or the Easter bunny. Look theses things up and you will see that these traditions all originated from paganism. Even Jesus chastised the religious leaders of his day. There is a reason why the Bible says find the narrow road. Most religions are a mockery.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • Friend

      May GOD forgive you my friend. He never meant for you become so lost. He loves you.....just the way you are. LOST

      May 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • jbmar1312

      There are many wrongs you can judge man who said he was speaking for God for John316, but I want you to know that God is real nontheless. Yes, there have been many wolves in sheeps clothing over the centuries committing atrocities pretending to be doing "Gods" will. I can only tell you my friend that Jesus does not condone any perversions of his creation. We have been given a great opportunity live life and to love. God has presented himself to us through His Son, Jesus the Christ that we might know him and his great love for us. Do not harden your heart towards Christ because of the sins of man. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that who so ever should believe in him should not perish but receive eternal life" John 3:16 God Bless

      May 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • John

      As Gandhi said, "I love your Christ, but not your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ."

      I want nothing to do with the Christian Faith any longer. I now consider myself a "Jesus Follower" and only read the "red letter text".

      May 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Scott

      I agree. I'm the oldest in my family and did not baptize my children in a church because I do not want them to grow up hating others. I had endless arguments with my parents over this but, fortunately, my next brother is following suit. My kids will be free to learn about religion as they choose–I won't keep information from them–but the decision of whether to participate in religion will be made by THEM when they are old enough to have the free will to make a willing choice.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • Keerz

      Well said John316. You really summed it up.
      Thank you –

      May 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • Shener

      Well said gagirl. One would do well to study the positive contributions of the church to societies around the world throughout history before making judgments on its relevance.

      May 28, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • Gary

      Dear mother, dear mother, the church is cold,
      But the ale-house is healthy and pleasant and warm;
      Besides I can tell where I am used well,
      Such usage in Heaven will never do well.

      But if at the church they would give us some ale,
      And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,
      We'd sing and we'd pray all the live-long day,
      Nor ever once wish from the church to stray.

      Then the parson might preach, and drink, and sing,
      And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring;
      And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at church,
      Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.

      And God, like a father rejoicing to see
      His children as pleasant and happy as he,
      Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the barrel,
      But kiss him, and give him both drink and apparel.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
    • Scott

      Gary,
      How does getting drunk get one closer to God? Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with drinking. But getting drunk?

      June 4, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  13. Michael, Chapel HIll

    May God Bless him.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  14. LB Colorado

    Not real sure how this happened, cause it clearly is not a God ordained action "lesbianism". So like Saul wanted to please the people and he paid a huge price. I guess that is where that domination chooses to go.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  15. Phineas McDough

    I couldn't agree with the bishop any more; the bishops must remain secretly gay.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • Texas Pete

      He's not gay. If you look at his eye brow horns he is completely straight. No gay man old or young would ever let the brows grow like weeds.

      May 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  16. Hical

    Matthew 18 provides step by step instructions for the church to follow. When a member of the church is unrepentant in their sin they need to be confronted first by those that know about it, then if they still continue in that sin with no repentance the church leadership needs to get involved in providing counseling and admonition, if they continue even after this and are unrepentant and continue to rebel against God ... the church needs to excommunicate them. With much prayer the hope is that they will repent and reconciliation take place prior to the final judgement.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Matthew 18: "If your brother sins against you" NOT simply "If your brother sins". It doesn't say you get to do anything if the sin doesn't affect you.

      May 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Steven

      Matthew 18 provides step by step instructions for the church to follow. When a member of the church is unrepentant in their sin they need to be confronted first by those that know about it, then if they still continue in that sin with no repentance the church leadership needs to get involved in providing counseling and admonition, if they continue even after this and are unrepentant and continue to rebel against God ... the church needs to excommunicate them. With much prayer the hope is that they will repent and reconciliation take place prior to the final judgement.

      ...and if we excommunicated all the heretics who chose not to follow a hypcocritical religion, who would be left to keep the faith?

      May 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Albert

      This is the truth that no one wants to hear. God does have standards. Quite simply, if you choose not to live by those standards (which is your right due to free will), then don't. But please do not call yourself a Christian. By doing so you are bringing reproach upon Gods name.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
    • Joseph

      And Deuteronomy 21:18-21 says to stone your children to death if they become disobedient. The Bible says a great many things, most of them contradictory. All its moral lessons are gathered from predecessor groups and religions, and few of them were brought in intact. How about you think for yourself, and you decide what's moral, instead of relying on what flawed humans wrote close to two thousand years before you were born.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • num1runna

      Amen Brother, finally someone applies some actual biblical teaching other than, "Jesus said to love everyone..."

      May 28, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Haven

      Actually, it doesn't say that at all. It says you are to treat them as a pagan or a tax collector. And what did jesus do with Tax collectors? He invited them to be his disciples (what do you think Matthew was anyway?) Jesus did not tell us to excomunicate anyone. He told us to keep trying. You invite sinners and tax collectors to eat with you.

      Think about it. Just because a church justifies hate with Mathew doesn't mean that is what it says. Love never needs to be justified.

      Additionally, this is that same chapter of Mathew that reminds it forgive our sinners 7×77 times! Forgiveness, or hate? It shouldn't be such a hard choice.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • Dlaw14

      Being yourself is not a sin.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • JP

      Finally, someone who reads more than "Romans Road" and John 3:16. I agree 100% with your post. People need to read the entire Bible.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • co citizen

      All in the Anglican Communion need to remember that more than two thirds of the funding for the Communion's benevolent ministries comes from the members of the Episcopal Church. So those who condemn us and want us thrown out need to ask themselves if they are going to make up the difference when we are gone. Trust me there are plenty of parishes that are ready to leave. Why stay where you are not wanted?

      May 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  17. Sara

    I am a Christian, but I must be a different kind of Christian. I was taught to live and let live as long as you are not hurting another human being or yourself. This new Christianity is my way or you get punished. Sorry, but I don't see this as the way of my God.

    May 28, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • John

      Sara

      read the bible and it will tell you what Chrirtianity says about the sin. You are to love the sinner, but not the sin. Those who practice the sin are one thing, an entire denomination celebrating the sin, therby keeping the unbeliever from coming to church due to the hypocrisy of practice vs what the bible says, does hurt "another". it hurts all of our witnessing. And satan is loving it. He has "gone to church" to do what he is doing. Wake up.

      May 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • David

      Sara, you are completely correct. Unfortunately, there are the bigots, like John, who can only turn to the Bible and use scripture, which was totally written by humans, in languages that are no longer spoken and translated by those who wanted to Bible to serve their own purposes. John needs to wake up and grow up. I will be as welcomed at the last day as he is, whether he likes it or not. My savior, Jesus Christ, will embrace me as he embraces all who come to Him and love Him. Because it is not about religion, it is about faith.

      May 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jon

      Sara, what your saying sounds good but I think you are a little confused about your Christian faith. I express the same concern with John's reply above as well. Where, with in Biblical text are we taught to "live and let live"? Where are we commanded to "hate the sin but not the sinner"? Folks, this is not what Jesus taught us! Did Jesus hate the sin and not the sinner? Absolutely not, Jesus hated both and called for repentance! Was Paul hung on a cross, upside down because he was preaching live and let live? Surely not! Paul pointed his finger in the faces of sinners and called on them to turn from their sin to God.
      Should we love each other? Surely. But at what cost! I fear many of us Christians are exchanging heaven for political correctness. It makes me sad!

      May 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
    • Joe R.

      The "new Christianity" is "accept all sin so that you don't 'offend' anyone." Jesus loves all of us sinners, and died and rose from the dead to offer everyone forgiveness and eternal life with him. HOWEVER, it's still clear that we are not to use Jesus' sacrifice as a license to continue sinning.

      May 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • MSL58

      The Bible also says you may not eat pork or shellfish, and must execute your child if he hits you. Do you follow that as well??

      May 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
    • Jeff

      You must be a different type of Christian, because what you are professing is not Biblical Christianity. This "new type of Christianity" is also known simply as Christianity.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • I see no Problem

      The nay-sayers on here are a joke. I agree with others who said the Archbishop should mind his own business. Doesn't he have some pedophial priests he needs to track down? I'd be willing to bet the Catholics arn't the only one with that problem.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • jonathan

      live and let live is a good idea until the latter begins to take actions that effect the former..

      May 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
    • Surf Dog San Diego

      I did read the bible. It says men shall not lie with men as with women. Gay men I have met do not lie with men as with women. They lie with men as with men. Everyone reads scripture as their prejudice causes them to interpret it. How about Matthew 7:12: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. and Luke 6:31 Do unto others as you would have them do to you. If you don't want your marriage outlawed, and you don't want to be persecuted, don't persecute others or outlaw their marriage. Live and let live.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • Ken

      Amen, sistah!! Totally agree with you on this. God is not judgemental – man, however, is.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Sam

      John,

      If Satan thinks that putting a dedicated, God-fearing woman (who has held down a loving, 19-year relationship, by the way) in charge of a church will hurt anybody's "witnissing," then his plotting is shakier than Damon Lindelof's.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
    • Pablo

      Your version is the NEW Christianity. Love, tolerance and peace are all tenents of Christianity. But so is fellowship, unity and spiritual warfare against sin. I don't see a problem with it. If some in this church truly feel strongly, they can always reunite with the original Christian church in Rome.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • pazyfe

      God's purpose will be victorious, but girl, don't be a limbo kind of person, we love the people, it's the lifestyle that I do not approve of. I will not lie, when you live by God's commandments you stick by them no matter what even it pulls you out of the "popular" side. You can live your life, I don't stop people as you said, but I do NOT approve, this is not God's commandment.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • David

      John, It comforts me to know that all other ordained ministers are without sin.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • Red83

      Hebrews 9:27 – And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment

      John 2:14-16 – And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

      Since when is God passive and not judgemental?

      May 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • jbmar1312

      David,
      you certainly will be welcomed if you have "believed" on Him which means obeying his commandments and receiving his forgiveness when we break them. But the Bible is clear about who can hold leadership as a Pastor/Leader and what is sin and what is not. Yes, everyone is to be welcomed in the church but not everyone is to be intrusted with the role of Pastor. A practicing gay/lesbian who is not repentant about their lifestyle is Biblically disqualified from leadership. You need to read the Bible!

      May 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • SJTH

      Sorry to post under your comment, Sara, but this reply is actually for "I see no Problem's" post. Actually, historically, the Archbishop of Canterbury has had authority within our Anglican Communion. Yes, I say 'our' because I am actually Anglican. Perhaps everyone else who has posted on here is Anglican, too. I do not know, but as one who is an aspirant for ordination I can tell you that while all the Archbishops are theoretically 'equal', the entire communion has looked to Canterbury since the 1500's for guidance. The same goes for the Episcopal Church of the USA, which the Rev. Ian Douglas from the article above is from. Whether he likes it or not, or whether I like it or not, or really no matter if anyone likes it or not, we have set a precedence of authority for the seat at Canterbury for over 500 yrs, and it is ridiculous for Rev. Douglas or anyone else to suddenly jump up and say "Where does this Archbishop think he comes from? Who does he think he is? Who gave him the authority?" The answer is; The anglican communion gave him authority. And if he thinks that gay and lesbian priests who are openly in relationships should not be allowed to serve in a ministerial capacity, then we actually DO have to listen to what he says. Even if we don't agree. Perhaps this is the bigger issue here. Our governing church structure says we should listen to him, even if we disagree. And if we do disagree, we have the freedom to leave the Anglican Communion and go find a different denomination...or religion. What have you.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • Johi

      I am so tired of all of you in here quoting ANCIENT biblical text that was written for people that existed thousands of years ago. Get over it. This "over and sinner and hate the sin" crap has to end now. Wake up all of you people or you might as well stone your daughters and stop eating shrimp! JEESH!!!

      May 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • jenn

      its not new Sara ... People have been punishing others for a long time in the name of everything under the sun (religions) and its not likely to change ... I agree, live and let live. I get judged everyday that I walk outside in a sleeveless top because Im a female with tattoos down the majority of both my arms ... The people that make comments to me at the Target while I shop dont realize that ... I used to be a Chaplain in a level-1 trauma center and since changed careers into search and rescue ... wonder if they really would care about my tattoos if I found their 3 yr old child after he/she had been missing ... or when I and my k-9 go into a disaster site (EF-5 Tornado) looking for living and dead .... hmmm Yeah I like christianity (for what it should be, not for what it is)

      May 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • Willie12345

      It seems that the real questions are:

      a) Is living a gay or lesbian lifestyle a sin?

      b) If so, is this sin so awful as to prohibit a person from holding a position of leadership within a church? (i.e. Setting a bad example.)

      June 1, 2010 at 8:28 am |
    • Mike

      For all you people who keep quoting the old testament and saying don't eat shrimp or stone your children if they are disobedient, you have no idea what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Try reading Hebrews, He took away the first and established the second (covenant). ALL sin was forgiven by His grace and sacrifice. You don't have to keep the law anymore, but His grace makes you fall in love with Him when you see His love for you, so you don't want to sin anymore.

      You can say all day long that gay is not sin, but the Bible is clear that it is sin. From reading all the deceived people here and what their idea of Christianity is, I think there are going to be some people really shocked when they get to the other side. You can say what you want about people who adhere to the Truth and the Word, but His Word is final. End of story and all your ideas and illusions won't help you when you cross over.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • swright

      To Sam – I absolutley love that you made managed to make a reference to LOST in your statement. And I completely agree with you.

      June 2, 2010 at 4:45 am |
    • Grumpy

      One of the tenets of Chritianity is the requirement for Christians to testify. That means you stand up for the faith, on faith. The current secular bent is to give credence to those who will not acknowledge a power higher than themselves. Also, don't confuse faith with religion. They are not one and the same thing. The pure and simple truth is people don't like being told what to do so they use the Bible as a scapegoat to try and justigy having no faith. Morality comes from within and the fire that drives it comes from faith. "They're not hurting anyone is no excuse. Those who advocate a path that has no faith are really saying nothing is important from a moral standpoint anymore as lomng as it doesn't hurt anyone.

      June 4, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  18. gretchen

    fr the article:

    >...He [Williams] knows he has to do something because he’s under pressure from all sides,” Lundy says. “But unfortunately, the step he’s taken in our view is not strong enough.”...<

    Then little lundy needs to form his own little church, so he can make up all the rules himself.

    May 28, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Andy

      "Then little lundy needs to form his own little church, so he can make up all the rules himself.
      May 28, 2010 at 11:58 am | Reply"

      That's exactly what Henry VIII did!

      May 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • Dave

      If the 2,000,000 or so members of our church continually leave and "form our own little church", we wil all eventually be worshipping alone.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  19. runswithbeer

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is NOT an democratically elected official of the Episcopal Church of the United States as are the Officials who did elect Bishop Mary Glasspool. He has no legal say in the matter. As a matter of fact the Episcopal Church of the United States was organized shortly after the American Revolution when it was forced to separate from the Church of England, as Church of England clergy were required to swear allegiance to the British monarch. He forgets his place in America. One has to ask the simple question , what would Jesus do?

    May 28, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • John

      the email says it all

      runswith beer

      sounds like an authority to me?

      May 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • Joe R.

      Read the Bible. Jesus isn't exactly a pacifist in all matters.

      May 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • jbmar1312

      runswihbeer, I can tell you what Jesus would do. Just as he forgave the adulterous whom the pharasees brought before him, he would say forgive MS. Glasspool and he would also say to her "Go and sin no more". If you are trying to say Jesus would condone this behavior you are mistaken. God hates sin and the gay/lesbian lifestyle is absolutely defined as sin in scripture.
      I would say to the Episcopalions and the other "denominations" who are choosing to disregard the Biblical Christian beliefs to practice whatever belief seems right to them but please do not call yourselves Christians"followers of Christ" for you have denied his teachings.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • Seriously

      @runswithbeer Nor is the pope and yet still people treat him as if he were some sort of God or representative of when neither is the case.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Dave

      I think Jesus would strive to keep His flock together, much like he did with the Aposltes. I don't think he would tell them to separate and form their own church.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • Dibs

      He'd love the sinner and hate the sin. And he would help them if they asked & worked for help.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • philorican

      Jesus has told the gay priest to go and sin no more, but 19 years in a gay relationship seems she didn't get the message.

      May 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • Mike

      Call it "moratoria" all you want. Sin is SIN. Jesus would say "go and SIN no more".

      May 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • Blackdruid

      Jesus would tell people to stop misusing religion in his name and stop using him to justify their hateful and ignorant stances

      May 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Steve

      Jesus would have instructed her to follow the word of God

      May 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • chippyarm

      It is very difficult to take sides on this, as many have done.. This should lead to further dialogue, not judgement . Steven Harnack, you said it best when you said, "cherry-picking which bible verses support their biases." This is exactly what destroys faith. Let those without sin cast the first stone. It appears Rowan Williams is without sin.

      May 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
    • Master Obvious

      The Archbishop of Canterbury is still the head of the American Episcopal Church.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • Jayson

      Jesus didn't go around conforming to popular beliefs or use a Democratic selection process to choose the leaders of His church. Of course who needs God when you can just ignore his teaching and make your own call on the matter.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Paul

      Dave: And yet, Jesus said to Peter: "Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men!" Keeping the flock together means keeping them following one man.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Mel

      Well, looking at the article the archbishop of canterbury is not attempting to exercise any legal authority over the Episcopal church. But he certainly does have authority over the Communion and he certainly does have the authority to hold the Episcopal church accountable for its promises and obligations to the Communion and that is exactly what he is doing. If the Episcopal church wants to break with the Communion it is one thing but if not it should be willing to be held accountable for *its own promises* to the Communion.

      May 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Student

      Jesus tossed the moneychangers out of his church. Is there any doubt about
      what he would do here?

      May 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • Patricia

      jbmar: I find it presumptious of you to tell us what Christ 'would have done.'

      May 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
    • Michael Lauderdale

      You are very right that he is not an official in TEC. However, he is the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion of which TEC is a part of. If TEC wants to be a part of the communion then they must follow the guidelines and consensus of that communion. If not then why even be in the communion?

      May 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Steve L

      Most of what I'm reading has to do with "man made" laws and rules with little regard for what God wants. Jesus certainly forgives, but forgiveness is not an open checkbook, but a response to remorse and a request for that forgiveness. Forgiving church leaders dedicated to a gay life style is like forgiving someone who is beating you to death and forgiving them after each blow. There’s no remorse and they’re dedicated to killing you. In this case, gay church leaders are most likely, unwitting partners in the devil’s role of trying to kill the Christian faith. While they “CAN” be forgiven, it is up to them to be remorseful, get on a right path and ask for forgiveness.

      May 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • Dan

      Well, I'm going to add my two cents as well. Jesus was only harsh with those who thought themselves religious and yet were hypocrites and liars. You cannot be gay/lesbian and proclaim yourself to be a Christian – much less a Bishop! How can anyone stand in the pulpit and preach while they themselves are living in willful disobedience to God's Word? Personally, I think Jesus would drive these "Bishops" out of the church with a whip.

      May 28, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • taz8it

      This is never been an easy issue, but one that needs to be addressed. I have gay relatives, friends, co-workers. My issue is the "openly gay" part. One's personal life should have nothing to do with their occupation. It is when they grandstand it and turn it into a political issue that the problems arise. I personally have an issue with "openly gay" bishops, priests, teachers, etc. Have the professionalism to keep your private life just that (private) and stop stirring the pot.

      May 28, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
    • Vern

      Looking at all the responses I wonder if anyone ever stops to ponder what is going on that apparently God is calling gay people into ministry, and to be faithful Christians. Perhaps God is doing a new thing and we are too stuck to see it. It would not be the first time. Remember the verse, "Can anything good come out of Galilee?"

      May 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
    • JIm

      Tell them to go and Sin no more...... but he would not ordain him......

      May 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • Tony

      Jesus would tell all of you to stop assuming what he would do, and to be quiet.

      May 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • charlie salisbury

      I agree with your logic. However if you claim to be part of the Anglican Communion you recognize the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Claiming communion without submitting to the recognized leadership of the communion is hypocrisy.

      June 1, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • OldOwl

      Everyone seems to want to take a crack at WWJD. That does not require speculation; just look at what Jesus did do when he confronted GLBT persons. Nothing! He neither condemned them in word, nor in deed. Such condemnation comes not from Jesus, but from human ego, who wants to cover his/her own sins, by imputing sin to others. Now, Jesus did have something to say about such people that take it upon themselves to judge others. He condemned them. So, if you want to take it upon yourself to twist the scriptures to say something that they clearly DO NOT say, then have at it. But remember, that you are bringing condemnation upon yourself–and that IS scriptural. What Would Jesus Doi? No more nor no less than he already did. Nothing. Christians are obligated to follow Christ's example in word and deed. In this case, speaking out against GLBT persons, that involves keeping your right-wing political biases and ego out of the dialogue, and loving your gay brothers and gay sisters just as God created them. To do anything more is to bring yourself into condemnation for judging others, and to do anything less is to negate your claim to be a Christian.

      June 1, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • swright

      I agree with Tony. So many of you are saying "Jesus would do this" or "jesus would do that". That is just what you THINK would happen. I also think the comments are more of what the writer would do instead of Jesus. We do NOT know what Jesus would do. They are bishops, and they spread the word of Jesus. They deserve a great amount of respect for this, and it is not our place to judge them.

      June 2, 2010 at 4:36 am |
    • Liutgard

      I would like to point out to jbmar that Jesus said NOTHING about gays. He did however have something to say about a great many other things, including _divorce_. I think that in the name of consistency, you should throw all divorced persons out of church leadership, if not out of the church entirely, before we target gays. Right? If not, you seem to be falling into the definition of _hypocrite_, and Jesus' views on hypocrisy are well known.

      Quit arguing about rules. Jesus wasn't into rules. His primary message was that of exercising love. I grew up in a deeply fundamentalist, legalistic tradition, and I saw very little of the Christian 'love' that I heard talk about. I have recently been attending a local Episcopal parish (my fiance is Episcopalian) and I was very surprised to see how much more the love of Christ is actually in practice. I think if Jesus walked in the door of either church, he'd be better received in an Episcopal church than, just for example, a Southern Baptist or Assemblies of God congregation, whatever the gender or orientation of the leadership.

      June 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Marc D.

      Only to those who use religion solely as a reason to justify their bigotry could love be an abomination. What would Jesus do? Drink some wine and move on – He wasn't a big "church politics" kind of Guy.

      June 3, 2010 at 8:38 am |
    • BrianCNN

      What would Jesus do? Well, had he not resurrected from the dead, he'd probably be turning over in his grave every time he heard this nonsense about gay clergy.

      June 6, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  20. Thomas

    if I met this man at a car dealership and he was a salesperson, just looking at him I doubt I would have bought anything. Just saying.

    May 28, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Bill

      Thomas says, "... just LOOKING at him ... ," which shows how shapeable you are in the hands of a propagandist. Everyone knows that when a "news" source is against the position of a man, they SELECT a photo for the story that is the most UNFLATTERING one they can find of the man. You should be embarrassed to publicly admit yourself an example of how it works. When I am reading something that is potentially historically important, like, say, the split of Protestantism from Catholicism in 1517 with Martin Luther, although photos weren't around, I wouldn't be moved this way or that by some reporter catching a shot of either Luther or the Pope looking bad, like say during a burp. I want the issues of import, not who's got the prettiest face. Why don't you climb up above a Britney Spears pop or teen magazine tabloid level of Pavlovian response, and ponder the weight of the issues? There is far too much propaganda today, and far too much success by its use.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • KEN

      So Thomas, what you're saying is just by his looks you don't trust him or would not believe anything he said. Hmm, sounds like you're pre-judging him. Lets see, isn't the word prejudice from the root prefix PRE and root word judge?

      May 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
    • AngieIA

      I absolutely love how many of you honestly believe you know what sin is and would quickly refuse to look upon yourselves and see your own shortcomings. There is no human being alive that is a 'good Christian' by our own standards. We lie. We cheat. We covet. We judge. We have arrogance to assume that we truly and honestly understand what God / Jesus would say or do after thousands of mis-translations have been printed. Let me be the first to say that I talk to God regularly in my prayers and he lets me know regularly that I am not him (her, it, etc.). Some of you need that same lesson. Go forth and love one another as though they were your neighbor. Hate shouldn't be in your vocabulary, even if it's directed at your own definition of 'sin'.

      June 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • Tim

      I really think the Episcopal( and the Lutherans) are the only groups that are truly trying to be inclusive.
      I'm no longer an active Catholic because of the church's views on women, gay folks, divorce, etc., etc.
      Truth be known Jesus was probably gay. It's a fact that a great # of priests in the Catholic church are.
      I applaud the Episcopal church for taking a stand against all the right wing bible thumpers.

      June 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
    • cindy

      Tim-you should be ashamed calling Jesus gay. He certainly WAS NOT!!! And if the Catholic Church would let their priests marry, much of that abuse might stop. Nowhere in the Bible does it say clery can't marry.

      June 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Michael

      So Cindy you think that when men aren't able to marry they turn into pedophiles? So all these priests that are abusing children would suddenly stop and start seeking out women? Jesus probably wasn't white Cindy, is that okay with you?

      June 3, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
    • bailoutsos

      Went by a Catholic church today and saw a sign that stated "Character Development – Summer School for Boys." Odd that there is no class for girls.

      June 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Viclif

      The penalty for such a great sin (- accepting gays & lesbians in to the pulpit ) is "Sodom & Gomerrah". Violation of the fundamental basis of Bible. Satan stepped in to those churches and took control. Beware.....

      June 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • ANGLO-Catholic Episcopalian

      I am proud to belong to The Episcopal Church ! Prejudice does not belong in church. Truly we welcome all people at Mass: – black, white, female, male, straight, gay: We welcome you ! If you are seeking an inclusive church , we are here- Check us out!

      June 6, 2010 at 11:10 pm |
    • kiterider

      I thought he was – Phil Jackson the LA Lakers coach – looking glum after the game two loss.

      June 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.