Canada: Anglicans gather as threat of schism looms
CanWest News Service
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Trapped for more than a decade inside a wrenching cyclone of doctrinal disputes, the Anglican Church of Canada will try to chart a path through the storm at a historic meeting in Winnipeg.
More than 400 bishops, clergy and ordinary members of Canada's oldest Protestant church will convene on Monday for the church's General Synod - the first such national meeting in three years - to elect a new Canadian leader and to vote on whether to let priests bless the partnerships of same-sex couples.
However the church decides to treat its gay and lesbian members, the outcome is certain to spark recriminations - and possibly schism - both in Canada and abroad.
An influential group of retired Canadian bishops pleaded with the church on Thursday to approve the blessings and then move forward to more critical matters, saying a failure to do so, "will only continue to draw us away from issues which are gradually destroying God's creation," such as poverty and global warming.
Meanwhile a group of conservative clerics warned Anglicans in a letter at Easter that any tampering with the church's traditional views on homosexuality would fragment the church and lead to "North American Protestant sectarianism." the rest