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Archbishop of Canterbury on homosexual unions: ‘2 styles of being Anglican’

Catholic World News - July 28, 2009

Repenting of Anglican prejudice against homosexuals, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury said that the Anglican Communion is not free to bless same-sex unions at this time but added that there are “two styles of being Anglican” on this issue.

“It needs to be made absolutely clear that, on the basis of repeated statements at the highest levels of the Communion's life, no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties or their place within the Body of Christ,” the spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans said. “Our overall record as a Communion has not been consistent in this respect and this needs to be acknowledged with penitence.”

However, “so long as the Church Catholic, or even the Communion as a whole does not bless same-sex unions, a person living in such a union cannot without serious incongruity have a representative function in a Church whose public teaching is at odds with their lifestyle.”

Acknowledging that “there have never been universal and straightforward rules about” dealing with Anglican doctrinal disputes,” and adding that “no-one is seeking a risk-free, simple organ of doctrinal decision for our Communion,” Archbishop Williams called for “two styles of being Anglican, whose mutual relation will certainly need working out but which would not exclude co-operation in mission and service of the kind now shared in the Communion … The ideal is that both ‘tracks’ should be able to pursue what they believe God is calling them to be as Church, with greater integrity and consistency.”

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