Archbishop of Canterbury asks Anglicans to repent in worldwide split on gays

Posted: Friday, December 03, 2004

LONDON (AP) — Addressing a global community deeply divided over gay clergy and same-sex blessings, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams sent a letter to top officials in the world's Anglican churches urging people not use ''sinful'' language that makes it easier to attack gays and lesbians.

But Williams also indicated that some church leaders must go further in apologizing for taking actions that cut against traditional Christian teaching by endorsing gay relationships.

The world Anglican leader's statement was sent to the other 37 heads, or primates, of Anglican branches in anticipation of a meeting with him on the gay crisis in February.

In October, an emergency commission set up to try to heal the rift over gay issues in the global Anclican Communion said the American Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada should should express ''regret'' over blessings for same-sex couples and the U.S. consecration of a gay bishop.

U.S. Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and others then said they regretted the pain such actions caused other churches, but did not express regret over the actions themselves.

Williams' letter said a church apology that amounts to saying '''I'm sorry you feel like that' ... doesn't go deep enough.''

However, Williams also said that ''any words that could make it easier for someone to attack or abuse a homosexual person are words of which we must repent.''


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