Danforth urges Episcopalian unity

June 15, 2006 at 11:46 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 15 (UPI) -- Former Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo., warned U.S. Episcopalians Thursday that their church can become just "one more tiny wedge" if they focus on divisive issues.

Danforth, an ordained Episcopal priest, was the keynote speaker at a forum on reconciliation at the church's general convention, Religion News Service reported. Delegates are set to take up a series of resolutions on homosexuality, an issue that could split the U.S. church and the worldwide Anglican communion.

With experience in the Senate and as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Danforth urged the church to use its experience at mediation to push for reconciliation in trouble spots where religious groups are fighting.

"Our liturgy is common, our Communion table is open," Danforth said. "I think the call is clear."

The church's first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, and Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, an opponent of gay ordination, were speakers at a discussion heard by hundreds of delegates Wednesday night.

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