Thursday, June 30, 2005

Canadian Church willing to walk away

TORONTO -- The Anglican Church of Canada says it's trying to work with the larger international church on the issue of blessing same-sex unions, but is willing to walk away from the Anglican Communion.

North American churches are increasingly sitting on the opposite ideological side from their counterparts in the developing world on same-sex blessings and ordination of women, and many say it could lead to a rift in the church in as few as three years.

"The language that continues to be used consistently is that of 'full repentance,' " for seeming to support the blessing of same-sex unions, said Ven. Paul Feheley, principal secretary to the Primate of Canada, leader of the country's Anglicans.

The greater world church "wants us to admit that we've made a horrible mistake -- say we've been bad children -- go to the corner and promise never to do it again."

Archdeacon Feheley was at the University of Toronto on Tuesday to deliver a speech on behalf of the Primate, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, who was ill.

The Anglican Church of Canada wants the communion to recognize the same-sex debate as an internal issue, but has met censure and disrespect from the increasingly powerful group of churches from much of Africa and South America, called the Global South. The U.S. Episcopal Church has also been shunned for consecrating an openly gay man as bishop. In Canada, the Vancouver diocese of New Westminster has approved the blessing of same-sex unions.

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