Griswold Criticizes 'Two-Tier' Plan for Anglican Churches

The Christian Century, August 8, 2006 | Go to article overview

Griswold Criticizes 'Two-Tier' Plan for Anglican Churches


In his first full response to a highlevel proposal to divide the worldwide Anglican Communion into voting and nonvoting camps, the top leader of the Episcopal Church has said it "raises serious questions about how we understand ourselves as being the church."

Frank Griswold, the outgoing Episcopal presiding bishop, had reacted mildly in his early response in June to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams's proposed plan to establish a two-tiered membership for the 38 members of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church could be placed into an "associate" category because of its willingness to ordain gays as bishops.

In a letter to the U.S. church released July 11, Griswold noted that Williams's still-unwritten plan, aimed at avoiding rupture in the communion, "contained no directives ... and no foreclosing," according to a speech Williams gave July 7 at the Church of England's General Synod.

Griswold, who will be succeeded in his post in November by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, also suggested in his letter that introducing a seeondary, nonvoting level of membership within the Anglican Communion would contrast with New Testament images of equality among believing Christians. …

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