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Homosexuality divides Episcopal convention

June 13, 2006 at 5:35 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 13 (UPI) -- Homosexuality heads the agenda as the Episcopal Church, the U.S. arm of the worldwide Anglican communion, opened its general convention Tuesday.

Three years ago, the delegates approved an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, and the blessing of homosexual unions. This year, there are a series of resolutions based on the Windsor Report, a document prepared by the Anglican Communion, that asks the U.S. church to "express regret" for Robinson's elevation.

The U.S. church has recently been a pacesetter for the Anglican Communion, the first to ordain women and open homosexuals. But the fastest-growing Anglican churches are in Africa, and many of them are bitterly opposed to liberal social attitudes.

The Episcopal Church itself is divided.

The Rev. Martyn Minns told his congregation at Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, Va., that he hopes for "repentance, reaffirmation and rollback" from the convention. But the Rev. Susan Russell, president of Integrity, the church's gay caucus, accused conservatives of hijacking "the mission and the ministry of the church we love."

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