Episcopal Church report sees ''mixed signals'' in Africans' money protest

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) Africans in the Anglican Communion have given ''mixed signals'' on whether they will refuse money from dioceses in America's Episcopal Church that favor gay clergy, Episcopal News Service said.

After a meeting in Nairobi last week, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), told reporters the continent's archbishops agreed to refuse the U.S. money. But CAPA's later communique did not mention this.

Episcopal headquarters said 19 U.S. dioceses with ties to Africa are led by bishops who voted to approve openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson last year.

CAPA's communique affirmed Akinola's statement that the Africans want world Anglicanism to discipline the Episcopal Church if it doesn't repent of its gay policies in three months.

In related developments:

The 2004 ''Episcopal Church Annual'' said in an editorial that the denomination faces ''what appears to be an impossible situation'' and that reactions to Robinson's elevation ''seem to tear at the very fabric of'' the church. The annual reported a tiny increase in baptized members (to 2,320,221) for 2002 over 2001 and a 1.8 percent gain in active communicant members (to 1,902,525).

Five congregations in the Diocese of Ohio told new Bishop Mark Hollingsworth not to visit because he supported Robinson, and said they're now being led by an unnamed bishop from the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes. Robinson attended Hollingsworth's consecration.


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