The Anglican row over homosexuality appears to be spreading from the US and Europe all the way to Australia after the Archbishop of Sydney reportedly received an “anguished letter” from another country pleading to become part of the more conservative church.
It comes after the leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, Bishop Andrew Smith, backed same sex blessings in the state where civil unions are allowed, but now conservative factions of the church have had enough.
The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, told a church congregation in Australia, that he fears his office will soon lose his status as the religion changes.
The letter he received praised his church for its conservative values, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
He said the Anglican Communion was undergoing a “remarkable transformation.”
“I do not talk of a split, for example. Nor have I been one to talk of schism and the break-up of the Anglican communion, I have always said that it is more likely that we will see its devolution into a looser federation of churches, networking across old lines in new ways. Indeed, I think that this has now begun to occur.
“As a consequence, I do not think that the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury while, of course, very important, will regain its old place.”
He said the US Episcopal branches attempts to express regret over gay issues has led th e church into a “missionary religion.”
Factions of the Anglican Church have been rowing ever since the appointment of gay bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson in 2003.
Ruptures were supposed to have been mended through the Windsor Report in 2004, however this year’s Episcopal Church’s General Convention was accused of failing to address it appropriately.