(The Christian Post): The Episcopal Church has agreed to halt the ordination of homosexual clergy in efforts to prevent a schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
In Tuesday’s announcement, the U.S. arm of Anglicanism said it would also stop all prayers of blessing for same-sex couples, thus fulfilling the two major conditions requested by Anglican officials before a Sept. 30 deadline.
Furthermore, The Episcopal Church would allow conservative dioceses to opt out of American church body and affiliate with a conservative province thousands of miles away.
The decisions come after Anglican leaders across Africa and Asia threatened to leave the worldwide communion unless appropriate assurances were given that The Episcopal Church would reverse its pro-gay agenda.
According to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, bishops that have been meeting for the past six days found "common ground to stand on."
“High ground,” she added.
"Not everyone is 100 percent happy with every word in this document,” Jefferts Schori noted, “but we believe we have found a place that all of us can stand together – at the foot of the cross."
The threat of a worldwide split has been hanging over the 77 million member Anglican Communion since the ordination of V. Gene Robinson as the first openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church in 2003....
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THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Liberal Episcopalians suffered a crushing defeat yesterday, as the ECUSA voted to stop all gay ordinations, gay marriages, and same-sex blessings, etc. This was a massive, and unexpected, victory for Biblically orthodox Episcopalians who threatened the American denomination with excommunication and isolation of such a ban was not instituted by September 30.
The Episcopal Church USA is still by no means a conservative, or even moderate, denomination. Indeed, the bishops at yesterday's meeting admitted no wrong in their previous actions. Rather, they simply caved into conservative demands to prevent the embarrassing isolation of their denomination from the larger worldwide body.
Some conservatives may even be disappointed by yesterday's vote, having hoped for final closure (excommunication of the American body) on this sad chapter in Anglican history. But there is a lesson to be learned in this, which conservative Episcopalians should carefully take note of. The lesson is that Liberals are cowards. They only act according to their agenda when they think there will be no consequences, when they believe they can get away with it. Once called on the carpet for their actions, they cave in and cower. What we saw this week was something that should have happened 20 years ago, when the ECUSA was just starting to openly ordain gays to their priesthood. Had the confrontation happened then, the situation in the ECUSA might have never reached the point its at now.
The final lesson in all of this? The problem is not Anglicanism, nor American Episcopalianism in particular, but rather a wicked spirit of liberalism that has permeated all western denominations and church bodies. This spirit of liberalism has festered and taken over only where it has not been openly confronted with real consequences for its agenda. Had conservatives in the ECUSA taken this matter to a boiling point twenty years ago, as they did just recently, then its likely that liberal advocates would have simply taken their agenda elsewhere, to another denomination, where resistance was not so fierce.
Conservative Episcopalians have averted a disaster -- for now. They've also received a victory, whether they wanted it or not. So now they have a choice. That choice really all depends on what they want to do with the rest of their Christian lives. They can either stay and fight against Liberalism in the Episcopal Church USA, or they can take their victory and run. They're always welcome in the Catholic Church, and especially in the newly developing Anglican Rite still in its embryonic stage. So their two options are nothing but positive at this point....
1.) Fight Liberalism in the ECUSA and greater Anglican Communion with victory in hand, or
2.) Get in on the ground level of the Anglican Rite within the Catholic Church.