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Griswold tries to calm US fears

THE Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US (ECUSA), the Most Revd Frank Griswold, has sought to reassure his bishops about their Anglican future. Speculation is building about the options that might be taken by the Lambeth Commission, which is to publish its report on 18 October.

Amid a flurry of predictions that ECUSA as a whole or in part might be disciplined, Bishop Griswold said that the commission was broadly representative of the Anglican Communion and should be considered “trustworthy”. He stressed that there was no clear information on the contents of its report.

Bishop Griswold also spoke of how Communion members chose to “live with one another as limbs and members of Christ’s body”. This involved “a willingness to bear one another’s burdens and to enter into one another’s realities in all their unfamiliarity and complexity” and a “very real cost on both sides”.

On Wednesday of last week, Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, confirmed, received or reaffirmed more than 300 Episcopalians at two services at Truro Church, Fairfax, in Virginia. He was there at the invitation of the Bishop of Virginia, the Rt Revd Peter Lee, as part of the alternative episcopal provision for parishes that could not reconcile their view of sexuality with diocesan policy ( News, 27 August).

At a news conference before the services, Lord Carey said of the Lambeth Commission: “Whatever model, we must find space for people to be in one Church. There are men and women of principle on both sides of the issue. My guess is that it will require some form of impaired communion to make it work.”

Expressing concern for the provinces that rejected homosexuality as incompatible with scripture, Lord Carey said: “The people who are very likely to suffer the most from this squabble are the people of the Third World. Many of them don’t want to welcome the help of the US because they have a perception that we have failed them in some way.”

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