“Community is not on the brink of extinction”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has expressed cautious optimism about the future of the Anglican Church. "The Communion is not on the brink of extinction," the honorary head of the Anglican Communion, which has some 77 million members, said Monday in Canterbury. Until now, observers amed that a split would soon occur.

The small British town is currently hosting the World Conference of Anglican Bishops with some 670 participants. The conservative and liberal wings of the church are at odds over the ordination of women and homosexuals as bishops, among other ies.More than 200 clergy from Africa and other regions stayed away from the Lambeth Conference because they fear increasing liberalization of the church. "It would have been salutary if the voices of the absent could have been heard here," Williams said. However, the critics had not declared their intention to leave the Anglican Communion altogether. It is now necessary to listen to their concerns, he said.Williams advocated "building unity not through coercion but through consensus". Conceivably, for example, more international advisory bodies could be established. The bishops present at the conference found new spiritual unity during their three-day retreat last week, the archbishop said: "We prayed together. We don't want to distract from the conflict ies, but we can't just have difficult discussions."On Monday, the bishops first discussed the topic of "Anglican identity" in small working groups.". Hot-button ies like human sexuality are on agenda toward end of conference. The meeting began on 16. July and lasts until 3.August. The Anglican Church is the third largest Christian church after the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

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Christina Cherry
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