Magazine article Anglican Journal

English Prelates Feel (Most Rev. Michael) Peers Pressure

Magazine article Anglican Journal

English Prelates Feel (Most Rev. Michael) Peers Pressure

Article excerpt


Primate Attacks English Bishops, screamed the front-page headline in the Church of England Newspaper.

The primate being the Primate of Canada, Most Rev. Michael Peers. The story was about a letter the Primate wrote to the paper lambasting an English bishop for adopting an 18th-century "colonial" attitude towards the American church.

Archbishop Peers was responding to an article in the paper by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, general secretary of the Church Missionary Society and assistant bishop of Southwark. In an article on the Righter case in the U.S., Bishop Nazir-Ali fired a warning shot from the far side of the Atlantic across the bows of the American Episcopal Church to uphold the church's traditional teaching on homosexuality.

"The phenomenon of people in English palaces issuing `warnings' to other people across the Atlantic about positions they must hold, as well as about the consequences of failure to do so, has a ring oddly reminiscent of the 1770s," wrote Archbishop Peers.

In a previous issue, Bishop Nazir-Ali wrote about the court's judgment in the case of retired Bishop Walter Righter, who was accused of violating church doctrine for ordaining a non-celibate homosexual.

"The Anglican Communion, as a whole," wrote Bishop Nazir-Ali, "is looking to the Episcopal Church and its various bodies to uphold the traditional teaching of the church in the areas of sexuality and of the life of the church's ministers. A failure to do so will certainly influence the course of the next Lambeth Conference (in 1998).

"Many in the other provinces of the Communion will be concerned that a North American agenda should not, once again, dominate a worldwide conference ... ."

Every 10 years, the Lambeth Conference brings together all of the bishops of the Anglican Communion.

(The first Lambeth conference was held in 1867 after the Provincial Synod of the Church of Canada urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to bring together Anglican bishops serving overseas to discuss issues facing them around the world. …

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