Anglicans warn U.S. church on gay bishop

Oct. 17, 2003 at 12:28 PM

LONDON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Anglican church leaders warned the U.S. Episcopal Church that consecrating a gay bishop could provoke a split, a newspaper reported Friday.

In a four-page statement issued in London after a two-day church summit Friday, the 37 primates, as leaders of the autonomous "provinces" that make up the 70-million-member Anglican Communion are known, said they had "a firm desire" to remain united but acknowledged they had deep divisions over homosexuality.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said they singled out recent decisions by the U.S. branch to elect a homosexual man, the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire, and by a Canadian church to bless a same-sex union, saying such steps jeopardized their unity.

Robinson is to be consecrated Nov. 2.

"If his consecration proceeds, we recognize that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the communion itself will be put in jeopardy," the statement said.

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