In a striking statement, seven conservative Anglican archbishops refused to take Holy Communion on Friday with Katharine Jefferts Schori (below), the presiding bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church.
More than a dozen Anglicans took the same action in 2005 against Jefferts SchoriÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s predecessor, Frank Griswold.
Friday’s action by the bishops at an Anglican gathering in Tanzania showed that tensions are not easing over the Episcopal Church’s support of gay bishops, gay priests and the blessing of same-sex couples.
The Anglican Church of Nigeria, on its website, included this “explanation”:http://www.anglican-nig.org/GSPrimates_in_Tanzania.htm for the protest:
“We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously. This deliberate action is a poignant reminder of the brokenness of the Anglican Communion. It makes clear that the torn fabric of the Church has been torn further. It is a consequence of the decision taken by our provinces to declare that our relationship with The Episcopal Church is either broken or severely impaired.
Scripture teaches that before coming to sit with one another at the Lord’s Table we must be reconciled. (Matthew 5:23-26 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-29) We have made repeated calls for repentance by The Episcopal Church and its leadership with no success. We continue to pray for a change of heart.
We are unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding, “Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith” (Book of Common Prayer)
This is a painful decision for us and also for our host and brother, the Most RevÃ‚Â¹d Donald Mtetemela. He understands our painful dilemma and accepts our decision. Pray for the Church.”