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Religion | IN BRIEF

Anglican Criticizes Bishops' Actions

September 21, 2002|From Times Wire Services

LONDON--The unity of the Anglican communion is increasingly being subverted by bishops taking unilateral action, mainly on sexual issues, the archbishop of Canterbury said earlier this week.

Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, speaking to an Anglican congress in Hong Kong, criticized both conservatives and liberals who "seem to be making such decisions without regard to the rest of us."

"This erosion of communion through the adoption of 'local options' has been going on for some 30 years, but in my opinion is reaching crisis proportions today," Carey said, in his last address as president of the Anglican Consultative Council.

He retires in October from his post as leader of the Church of England and symbolic head of the global Anglican Communion, which has more than 70 million members. The 2.5 million-member Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch.

Carey spoke of his concerns about the defrocking of a traditionalist priest in Pennsylvania, moves to allow lay people to preside at communion in Sydney, Australia, and a decision in June by the New Westminster diocese in western Canada to bless same-sex unions.

Most of the divisions involve "matters to do with sexuality," Carey said.

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