Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Church Must Ease Tensions - Williams; Archbishop in Call for Unity

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Church Must Ease Tensions - Williams; Archbishop in Call for Unity

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Pugh

THE Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Anglican church badly needs to resolve its "internal tensions" as it faces division over homosexual clergy and the consecration of women bishops.

Dr Rowan Williams said churches that are divided, fearful and inward-looking do not easily convey the message to others of living in a more hopeful atmosphere.

He delivered his sermon at St Dunstan's Church in Canterbury, Kent, towards the end of the first week of the 10-yearly Lambeth Conference attended by 670 bishops from around the world at the University of Kent.

Disharmony has seen a quarter of the bishops invited to the conference stage a boycott in objection to the presence of US bishops responsible for the consecration of the Rt Rev Gene Robinson, the first Anglican bishop to openly live in a gay partnership. The battle to gain unity also follows the Church of England's decision earlier this month to press ahead with the consecration of women bishops but without safeguards demanded by traditionalists.Dr Williams said: "Our Anglican family badly needs to find some ways of resolving its internal tensions that will set it free to be more confidently what God wants it to be. Part of our agenda at this conference is to do with this."

Dr Williams said the conference was a time to tell the world amid the daily conflict and terror being witnessed throughout parts of the globe that "Christ is here, you're not alone".

He said: "They say it where there is daily terror and death, where large communities know levels of daily bereavement we can't imagine, in Sudan and Zimbabwe and the Philippines and Sri Lanka, where populations starve or are driven from their homes, where those who struggle for justice and honesty may be abducted and killed.

"They say it where generations are being wiped out through the HIV/Aids pandemic. …

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