Archbishop pleads for Anglican truce

The Archbishop of Canterbury rebuked the warring factions in the Anglican Church yesterday for being too preoccupied with their neighbours’ failings.

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Dr Rowan Williams conceded that the Church was in turmoil over homosexuality, but urged Christians to concentrate on the mystery of God rather than their own worldly concerns.

His appeal, in a Christmas message to the 55 million-strong worldwide Communion, follows a bruising six months in which he has struggled to avert schism.

“We are living through a time of great uncertainty and disturbance in our Church,” he said. “There is no quick solution to the disputes that divide us and . . . take us away from the task of sharing the good news.”

At Christmas, however, Church members were reminded by the Nativity of deeper truths that should unsettle everyone, whether conservative or liberal.

Urging worshippers to search for the “true centre” of their hearts, he said: “We shan’t emerge from that journey with better arguments to defeat opponents or better schemes for saving the Church. We emerge with greater fear and wonder – like those who in the gospel stories first met the newborn child.”

In an emotive plea for a truce in the battle between conservatives and liberals, the Archbishop said that Christians should turn their thoughts inwards.

“Before becoming preoccupied with our neighbour’s failings, we must, in the presence of the Christ child, look first to our own birth and death; to where we see the centre and the edge; to how we find God’s centre, not just the centre of our own concerns and anxieties.”

The crisis in worldwide Anglicanism was set off by the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson, the Church’s first openly homosexual bishop, in New Hampshire earlier this month.

In the latest sign of division, three senior bishops have thrown their weight behind a new conservative network set up in protest at the consecration, which is emerging as an alternative Anglican Church.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Daily Telegraph, UK
Nov. 27, 2003
Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday November 27, 2003.
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