World body asks local Anglicans and Episcopalians for restraint on gay disputes

Posted: Friday, October 04, 2002

HONG KONG (AP) -- Concerned about possible schisms, an international governing body of Anglicans and Episcopalians wants local dioceses to consult with larger church bodies before taking positions that defy its traditional views against homosexual activity.

The Anglican Consultative Council, one of three bodies that oversee worldwide policy, asked local dioceses and bishops not to take unilateral actions that would ''strain our communion'' without first consulting higher authorities.

Such resolutions aren't binding, but they influence local Anglican dioceses. The statement is a response to such disputes as approval of same-sex rituals in America's Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, and a proposal in Sydney, Australia, to let lay members administer communion.

Under Anglican tradition, marriage is reserved for heterosexual couples.

Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, proposed the resolution, which was overwhelmingly approved by representatives from 38 regional branches.


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