7 Episcopal dioceses in U.S. protesting delegates’ decision at national convention last month to reject a proposed moratorium on gay bishops
The Episcopal Church’s Dallas Diocese became the seventh in the denomination to appeal for alternative leadership from overseas Anglican leaders because of the ongoing rift over homosexuality.
Dioceses in Central Florida; Fort Worth, Fresno, Pittsburgh; Springfield, and South Carolina previously requested such alternative oversight from world Anglicanism a step short of formal schism. Leaders of the Albany, N.Y., Diocese pledged “solidarity” with the seven “sister dioceses” but didn’t request overseas leadership.
Meanwhile, bishops of the 17.5 million-member Church of Nigeria questioned the “moral justification” for the scheduled 2008 meeting of the world’s Anglican bishops since those from the Episcopal Church (Anglicanism’s U.S. branch) and elsewhere “have abandoned the biblical faith.” Instead, the Nigerians suggested that bishops from Africa and other Global South nations hold a separate 2008 conference.
The Dallas bishop, James Stanton, requested a “direct pastoral relationship” with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the global Anglican Communion.
Stanton also said a special panel would examine the diocese’s relationship with the Episcopal Church and report to an October convention.
The seven dioceses reacted after a national convention last month declined to approve a moratorium on gay bishops or other steps sought by Anglicans elsewhere.
The convention elected as the church’s next leader Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori of Nevada, who supports liberal gay policies. The Fort Worth Diocese doesn’t believe women should be ordained let alone lead the church.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, July 21, 2006.