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In Brief

"In Brief" Continued...

Issue: "Fact & Fiction," Dec. 21, 2002

He has no theological objection to female bishops, but if any are consecrated in the Church of England, he believes the church may need a separate jurisdiction for dissenting traditionalists, since there are so many. (Anglican churches in Canada, the United States, and New Zealand have women bishops, and they have been approved in principle elsewhere.)

He said he abstained from voting on homosexuality at the 1998 international Lambeth Conference, where the world's Anglican bishops overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution saying active homosexual relationships are "incompatible with Scripture." That was "the mind of the church [and] I am bound to live with that." Although he ordained a practicing homosexual once, he said he would abide by Lambeth and not do it again. | Edward E. Plowman

Money talks

Anglican bishop Michael Ingham of Vancouver, B.C., won't implement same-sex union rites in his New Westminster diocese-at least for now. He said he would delay implementation of the new rites in order not to disturb dialogue he is trying to set up with dissidents in the diocese who oppose the move.

Diocesan delegates by a split vote had approved same-sex blessings earlier, and the bishop last June said he would draw up a liturgy for them. However, eight of the diocese's 80 parishes rebelled, withheld funds (almost $30,000 a month) from the diocese, and asked for alternative oversight of their churches.

The 40-member Canadian House of Bishops in October acknowledged it was divided on whether the Bible condemns homosexual relationships. It voted to ask Bishop Ingham to delay implementing the rites until the denomination's General Synod in 2004. Last month, the bishops also asked him to try to reconcile with the eight conservative parishes.

For his part, Bishop Ingham asked the delegates who voted for the rites to "review the consequences of their decision." He has called a special meeting of the 400-member diocesan synod next month to deal with a 20 percent budget shortfall.

Dissident leaders say the bishop's willingness to talk is an encouraging sign, but they don't believe he will keep the same-sex rites on hold for long. | David Aikman


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