Pressure from Mainstream Anglicans to Degrade Gay Cleric

While the United Methodist Church began a special meeting investigating whether homosexuality is compatible with church teachings yesterday in Pittsburgh, USA, Anglicans in the UK are under the cloud of schism on gay clergy issue. Dr. Jeffrey John, an openly gay canon, was appointed as the Dean of St Albans last week.

Yesterday, after a statement was published by St. Albans Evangelicals, Jeffery John was under growing pressure to step down from his new post as Dean of St. Albans. Last summer, he was forced to withdraw as Bishop of Reading after the evangelical churches in the Oxford Diocese threatened to cap the parish share in protest of his degradation.

The statement, representing more than 40 evangelical clergy and laity in the diocese of St Albans and members of the Anglican mainstream, expressed their serious disquiet. They were “dismayed” by the appointment.

The evangelicals said in the statement that the appointment was “a serious error of judgment”, because “this particular appointment has been made despite the request of the Lambeth Commission that perceived controversial appointments should be avoided during their 12 months consultation period.”

The Lambeth Commission consists of 19 mainstream Anglican bishops and aims to examine Anglican Communion life in the light of recent events. It is expected to resolve the gay clergy crisis in the Anglican community.

"Furthermore, we are aggrieved that the diocesan bishop, who has also called on people not to take precipitate action, should have agreed to the appointment, thus creating division within the diocese and the wider Anglican Communion."

The statement said the views of Dr John were wholly erroneous and contrary to Scripture, tradition and reason, as well as the statements of the House of Bishops (‘Issues in Human Sexuality’) and the Anglican Communion. Therefore, the conclusion is that, "We respectfully request that the appointment be withdrawn."

Anglican Mainstream, is a national evangelical community within the Anglican Communion teaching and preserving the Scriptural truths on which the Anglican Church was founded. Last weekend the evangelicals were furious and had called for a meeting with Tony Blair who personally sanctioned the appointment.

A number of clergy already consider threatening the Church in protest of the wrong ordination by capping their quotas, the "tax" paid to central diocesan funds.

Actually, the statement made by the evangelicals represented the voice of numerous Anglican congregations who are also disappointed by the church’s decision, and that is why it is influential and powerful. At the end of the statement, they promise “to continue to consult, work and pray together for the advancement of the gospel of Christ and the upholding of biblical standards in the Diocese.”