ROSEMONT, Pa. — Anglican archbishops disturbed by the Episcopal Church USA's liberal views on homosexuality held their own confirmation service Sunday in a challenge to the denomination's American leadership.
The presiding bishops of Kenya, Uganda, Congo and Sydney, Australia--as well as delegates sent by U.S. bishops and about 700 worshipers--attended the service in suburban Philadelphia. They object to the practice by the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism, of ordaining active homosexuals and allowing clergy to bless same-sex unions.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday November 30, 2000 Home Edition Part A Part A Page 3 Metro Desk 3 inches; 87 words Type of Material: Correction
Same-sex unions--An Associated Press story in Monday's Times misstated the stance taken by Episcopal Church delegates at a July convention. A resolution passed by delegates acknowledges the existence of gay couples. The church officially opposes same-sex relations but in practice does not take sanctions against those who ordain homosexual clergy or bless same-sex unions.
DOCN: 000113801 LAT: 57791 1 OF 976 / Set 1 Anglicans Challenge Episcopal Stance on Gays From Associated Press Los Angeles Times Monday November 27, 2000 Home Edition Part A Part A Page 18 National Desk 8 inches; 273 words Type of Material: Wire
Some 70 youths and adults were confirmed at the standing-room-only service, led by Archbishop Maurice Sinclair of Argentina, at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Among them was 18-year-old Emily Lugo, who said she was "really honored to be a part of this."
"It's encouraging to know that there are other churches as conservative as we are," she said.
The service, while controversial, was low-key and nonconfrontational.
"It's a fundamental matter of doctrine and ethics with pastoral consequences," Sinclair said after the service. "The question is, does the church accept a lifestyle involving sexual activity between two people of the same sex? We're saying the traditional teaching is what we believe in."
Bishop Charles Bennison of the Diocese of Pennsylvania attended the service, though he has called the archbishops' defiance of church authority a "canonical crisis." Bennison met with Sinclair on Saturday.
In July, Episcopalians meeting in Denver voted overwhelmingly to support unmarried couples--homosexual and heterosexual--in monogamous relationships honoring religious values. They also permitted bishops to ordain homosexual men and women, and local clergy to bless same-sex unions without fear of reprisal.
A 1998 meeting of the world's Anglican and Episcopal bishops gave 88% approval to a declaration that homosexual behavior is "incompatible with Scripture."