Church of Ireland Primate Warns Against Anglican Split Over Homosexuality

Archbishop Eames, the Primate of All Ireland, has warned the Anglican Communion not to become so polarised over the issue of gay rights that other Christian denominations can no longer take it seriously.

Published 08 October 2005
The Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Robin Eames, has warned members of the Anglican Communion against becoming so polarised over the issue of gay rights that other Christian denominations can no longer take it seriously.

|TOP|Archbishop Eames is head of a task force engaged in bringing reconciliation between the conservative churches, mainly in African and South American provinces, and liberals in North America and the UK.

At a lecture at the Virginia Theological Seminary Wednesday and Thursday, Rev. Eames said: “There needs to be much greater understanding of the long-term consequences of developments which could turn the diverse voice of the Anglican Communion into a divided family that other traditions of the Christian Church would find it hard to take seriously.”

The Church of Ireland Primate also called for greater authority for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, before adding that the worldwide Anglican Church “can no longer live with the danger of major crisis such as at present”.

The Anglican Communion has been faced with the threat of schism since the Episcopal Church in the U.S. ordained a gay man to the priesthood and Canada started blessing same-sex unions.

|QUOTE|On the issue of homosexuality, Rev. Eames said there could be no “blanket condemnation of an on-going process of discernment about the right way, under God and in the spirit of the Gospel, to accommodate the reality of faithful Christians who happen to be homosexually orientated within the life of the Communion”.

He added: “To do otherwise is to court schism.”

Rev. Eames made the recommendation that the provinces forego some of their autonomy in the interest of maintaining unity within the Communion.

He said: “The argument to which I would subscribe is that as long as total autonomy is the ecclesiological sense is a reality, differences such as at present will continue to be a threat to any common expression of Anglicanism.”

Rev. Eames also voiced his support for the Covenant proposal of the Windsor Report as “tidy” and providing a “source of clarity”.

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