Episcopal bishops meet to discuss gays

Sept. 20, 2007 at 5:44 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Episcopal bishops began meeting Thursday in New Orleans to discuss gays in the church with a call from the presiding bishop to respect others’ opinions.

Most of the day was spent in closed session, The Chicago Tribune reported. Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori opened the gathering with a celebration of the Eucharist and a call for honest communication “particularly when we are unsure or uncomfortable about what others are saying."

The Anglican Communion has demanded that the Episcopal Church agree to consecrate no more gay bishops and ban church blessing of same-sex relationships. The crisis began in 2003 when the diocese of New Hampshire selected a bishop who was in a public relationship with another man.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams traveled to New Orleans for the meeting.

Most of the pressure comes from some African countries where Anglican churches are growing, while the churches in England and the United States are stagnant.

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