The decision to oust North American Anglican leaders from a meeting of international primates for their support of gay rights has been deemed a victory by both liberal and conservative leaders.
At crisis meetings held in Northern Ireland last week, leaders of the American church were asked to withdraw representatives from the Anglican Consultative Council until 2008, given the US decision to consecrate gay bishop V. Gene Robinson in 2003.
Leaders of the Canadian church were shown the door for their decision to bless same-sex partnerships.
There were reports conservative Nigerian archbishop Peter Akinola held a victory dinner following the primates’ statement, while liberal US primate Frank Griswold said the break would offer time to speak out of the truth of our experience.
The ousting of the American churches was supported by the archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen, who told BBC News last week the authority of the Bible is at stake over the issue of homosexuality in the Church.
Jensen told The Age this week he was pleased the primates had taken disciplinary action against those who have transgressed the scriptural teaching.
Australian Anglican commentator Dr Muriel Porter told The Age the withdrawal was a compromise that would only postpone an inevitable schism.
The fragile unity left to the Anglican Communion is no unity at all. It is an unworthy appeasement, bought at the price of the many gay people who are faithful, worshipping Anglicans, Porter said.
Porter argued it was the conservatives who had transgressed the scriptures and urged moderate church leaders to fight harder, The Age reported.
It is a pity they have not instead publicly named the conservatives’ power trip as a form of abuse, and their bullying as a failure of Christian compassion and a form of judgmentalism, against which Jesus specifically preached, Porter said.
This is the scriptural teaching to which they should require Anglican allegiance.