Alexandria Seminary Official to Defend Gay Clergy; Theologians Helped Craft Document for England Presentation

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 21, 2005 | Go to article overview

Alexandria Seminary Official to Defend Gay Clergy; Theologians Helped Craft Document for England Presentation


Byline: Julia Duin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The vice president of Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria will be among a team of seven Episcopal bishops and clergy in England today, making the case for homosexual clergy in the 70-million-member Anglican Communion.

The Rev. Michael Battle, also the associate academic dean, will help present a document "To Set Our Hope on Christ" during a 90-minute presentation to 78 members of the Anglican Consultative Council, which governs day-to-day Anglican affairs.

Mr. Battle and professors Timothy Sedgwick and the Rev. Katherine Grieb were three of the six theologians who wrote the document.

The involvement of three faculty members from the seminary - the only Episcopal seminary cited - stems from faculty involvement with national and international issues, said seminary spokeswoman Susan Shillinglaw.

"We just have a dynamic faculty here," she said.

The seminary, founded in 1823, is considered middle-of-the-road theologically, she said. But it has been criticized by conservatives for having openly practicing homosexuals as teachers and students in recent years.

It received a nod of appreciation from Presiding Episcopal Bishop Frank Griswold, who thanked the writers for producing the document, which will explain "how a person living in a same-gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ."

The meeting in Nottingham, England, will help decide whether the U.S. Episcopal and Canadian Anglican churches can remain in the Anglican Communion. In February, the denomination's archbishops said the Americans and Canadians could attend the meeting only to defend their views on homosexuality. …

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