Tanzanian bishops condem U.S. church over the ordination and promotion of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex partnerships
LONDON The Anglican Church of Tanzania declared Tuesday, Dec. 12, that it was cutting ties with the Episcopal Church in the United States and would refuse to accept any assistance from Episcopal bishops, institutions or individuals that condone homosexuality.
The declaration was the latest shot in the war within the communion over the ordination and promotion of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex partnerships.
The Episcopal Church has drawn the ire of conservatives in its own ranks and notably in Africa because it affirmed the election of V. Gene Robinson, who lives openly in a gay relationship, as bishop of New Hampshire three years ago.
At their General Convention in June, the Tanzanian statement said, Episcopalians failed to “register honest repentance for their actions that were contrary to the dictates of the Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Anglican Church … thereby indicating that they were deliberately choosing to walk apart from the rest of the Anglican Communion.” At their meeting on Dec. 7, the statement said, Tanzanian bishops declared their communion with the Episcopal Church to be “severely impaired.”
But “the Anglican Church of Tanzania remains in communion with those who are faithful to Biblical Christianity and authority of Scripture who remain in the Episcopal Church (USA) or have left or are considering leaving that church body for the same reasons that we have stated above,” the statement said.
Henceforth, it added, “the Anglican Church of Tanzania shall not knowingly accept financial and material aid from dioceses, parishes, bishops, priests, individuals and institutions in the Episcopal Church (USA) that condone homosexual practice or bless same-sex unions.”
In September, leaders of the so-called Global South met in Kigali, Rwanda, and affirmed that they were ready to work with Conservative Episcopalians to set up an alternative structure in the United States.
The Global South group comprises Anglican churches in Bangladesh, Burundi, Central Africa, South India, Congo, the Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, southern South America, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa and the West Indies.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 15, 2006
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