The Episcopal Church in the USA (ECUSA) has effectively declared its independence from the worldwide Anglican Communion. Yesterday, the House of Bishops of ECUSA voted overwhelmingly to allow practicing homosexuals to be consecrated and ordained. In taking this step, they knowingly defied the rest of the communion. Read about it here.
Bishop Tom Wright has written forcefully denouncing the move in the Times online, and his remarks are worth noting. He writes:
‘Both the bishops and deputies (lay and clergy) of TEC knew exactly what they were doing. They were telling the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other “instruments of communion” that they were ignoring their plea for a moratorium on consecrating practising homosexuals as bishops. . . They were formalising the schism they initiated six years ago when they consecrated as bishop a divorced man in an active same-sex relationship, against the Primates’ unanimous statement that this would “tear the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level”. In Windsor’s language, they have chosen to “walk apart”.’
Bishop Wright goes on to affirm what the Bible teaches about human sexuality:
‘Paganism ancient and modern has always found this ethic, and this belief, ridiculous and incredible. But the biblical witness is scarcely confined . . . to a few verses in St Paul. Jesus’s own stern denunciation of sexual immorality would certainly have carried, to his hearers, a clear implied rejection of all sexual behaviour outside heterosexual monogamy. This isn’t a matter of “private response to Scripture” but of the uniform teaching of the whole Bible, of Jesus himself, and of the entire Christian tradition.’