Church crisis: Gay marriage and gay bishops

Anglican leaders, striving to stop their loose association of &to=http:// 20/91/368/11307_Homosexuality.html ' target=_blank>churches falling apart, have urged North American Episcopalians to ban same-sex marriages and the consecration of gay bishops.

They said on Monday liberal North Americans had "broken the bonds of communion" by approving &to=http:// ' target=_blank>gay unions and ordaining Gene Robinson, a homosexual divorced father of two, as bishop of New Hampshire.

They asked the liberals, based in Canada and the United States, to apologise for their actions and to promise it would not happen again -- at least for now, informs Reuters.

"Should the call to halt and find ways of continuing in our present communion not be heeded, then we shall have to begin to learn to walk apart," said the unanimous report of a 17-member commission headed by Irish Archbishop Robin Eames.

The report, which didn't criticize Robinson personally and didn't call for anyone to be punished, "represents the highest degree of consensus that was attainable," said Drexel Gomez, &to=http:// ' target=_blank>archbishop of the West Indies, a commission member and a leading conservative critic of the U.S. church.

Eames told a news conference the report didn't offer any easy solutions to the church's crisis, and sought reconciliation rather than punishment.

"You cannot impose reconciliation," Eames said, citing his own experience of Northern Ireland's peace process after three decades of violence, says ABC News.

According to The Age, the covenant, to be adopted by each member church, would set out the basis, expectations and responsibilities of Anglican life, Dr Carnley said.

It would also try to define limits of autonomy when matters impacted beyond the boundaries of the national church.

"I think it is a positive step and well worth considering," he said.

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