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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February 2005, 13:29 GMT
Will Africa split the Anglican Church?
Opening ceremony of the African Anglican Bishops Conference (Rev Emmanuel Kolini, primate of Rwanda (l), Rev Bernard Malango, primate of Central Africa and Rev Joseph Morona, primate of Sudan)
The row over gay clergy threatens to divide the Anglican church
Leaders of the 70 million-strong Anglican Communion have been meeting this week near Belfast in Northern Ireland to discuss an ongoing crisis that threatens to split the church.

The 38 primates will consider the so-called Windsor Report, published after the consecration of gay bishop Gene Robinson in America and the blessing of same sex unions in Canada.

African and Asian leaders have started a campaign to restore order and to discipline an American Church which, they say, has departed from the Bible and Anglican tradition.

Would you back African bishops if they walk out of the meeting? Would you even ask the bishops to leave and create their own Church? Is the unity of the church not more important than disagreements over homosexuality? Shouldn't the Anglican church modernise and accept that society is changing?

Let us know your views by using the form on the right.

A selection of your comments will be broadcast on the BBC's Focus on Africa programme on Saturday 26 February at 1700GMT.


A selection of your comments are published below.

Yes let African Bishops walk out of the meeting because same sex is aganist the Bible teaching according to Corinthians 7:3,4,10
ssuuna Golooba, Kampala, uganda

it is very obvious that time is changing and society is changing too. However, it is absurd to suggest that the church follow suit. The authentic church of God is to be ruled by the Perfect Jesus Christ and His eternally unalterable and unchanging principle set out in the Holy Writ. Christians are not to compromise their moral principles with wishy washy liberal "theologians"who are in position only for the purposes of career. The abominable practice of sodomism by whoever and forcing the church to accept it is tantamount to blasphemy. I appleal to christians to watch out who they listen to in this day and age.
Tegegn Bayissa, Manchester/England

I would back the African Bishops. Christainity is all about being like Christ (Christ-Like). We are not to hate gays or anybody for that matter but we are not to encourage and anti-bibical, anti-christ behaviour no matter how hard press the issues are. The true is the gay issue is problem and signs of the end time. We all should therefore pray and encourage all in the practice to seek God's face for solutions to the problems.There are many problems one faces living in this world and at this times, but only seeking God and find out His solutions would give Victory. To do otherwise and accept problems as normal as a shame and un christ-like
Kunle Ladejobi (JNR), Abuja, Nigeria

The rupture of the Anglican Communion is only marginaly connected to the issue of sexuality. The unity of the Christian church has to do with spiritual discipline, doctrine, and authority. Over the last 30 years there has been a mad charge away from traditional Christianity in our western church that began with prayerbook revisions, continued with the relaxation of divorce canons, and has now perverted holy scripture in regard to ordination. The recent Apostacy in ECUSA is just the fruit of the already poisoned tree. Christian unity demands that we reject the call to embrace society's madness. The African bishops do not have to walk out and create their own church. The revisionist minority of Anglicanism have already divorced themselves from the Faith of Our Fathers. Unity can not trump Biblical Authority!
R C +, Fort Nyers, Florida USA

Modernize? The Bible isn't modern enough? Let's face it, religions change over time, and at varied paces in different places. The African bishops aren't going to change the position of the modernist wing of America's Anglican Church. So going their own way would be perfectly appropriate. Unity of a church, especially one like the Anglican Church that started by Henry VIII disuniting England's religious community, is not as important as standing by one's principles. If a principled concensus can't be reached -- and I doubt it can -- let each be guided by his/her own conscience. If unity was so important, we'd all still be Catholics, no?
Soren K., Silver Spring, MD, USA

If the Anglican churches want to ordain gay priests then I suggest they re-write the Bible to suit their evil minds. There is no argument about this issue as far as I am concerned because the Bible that they claim is their guidance specifically conderm it. And so the story from the Bible about Sodom and Gomorrah are vivid examples of what can happen to a people who persue this evil acts in the church. Here is an advice for all, let the gay prists form their own church and explain to their congregation why they think a very important portion of the Holy Bible should be discarded on the flimsy excuse of modernisation or that society is changing.
Seth Kugblenu, Bracknell, England

There is no need for the African bishops to even show up at the meeting. I think its time for African bishops to cut off form the west and set up their own church based on the virtures or african culture.let these western bishops get it clear that sodom and gomorrah was distroyed.one thing they forget to know is that the church is not a fashion show that they can just do anything in the name of modernisation. we don't modinise spirituality. Either you are for it or you are not.
N. N .Asanghanwa, Borås Sweden

I am a former Episcopal priest, now an Anglican priest of Rwanda serving in Alabama. With respect, your questions reflect a certain bias. The question is not would we support African bishops or the Global South in forming a new Church. The question is, would we support these bishops in representing the doctrine and discipline of the Church as it has been taught and lived within her from the beginning. The question is not one of homosexual sin but of sin in general. The only response to sin within the Church is repentance, forgiveness, and the hope for healing. There is no unity in the church until and unless that unity is rooted in Jesus Christ; the truth of His words; the light of His gospel; the hope of His salvation. Our African leaders stand against a false church of an empty gospel, which offers no chance for change or real healing. And in America, we have a choice to make. It really doesn't matter what you stand against, or even what you stand for...in the end what really matters is with whom you are standing.
The Rev. Rob Grafe, Mobile, AL

A person is not gay by choice just like the African bishops are not black by choice. It's the way they were created by God.
John, St. John's, Canada

If anyone should create their own church..it should be those who condone the homosexual lifestyle. The American Anglicans have gone against Bible teachings, and should be ashamed of themselves. Kudos to the Africans for standing up for the Truth.
Laura Clarke, usa

The bible describes homosexuality as an abomination. It is that simple(though we might believe or think otherwise). There are no gray areas in this debate. Infact there is no debate. Your modernization and change statement shows the lack of understanding of the bible (issues). Until GOD tells his church that he is modernising and changing, I think the African bishops are on the right track.
Victor Igbo, Orlando, Fl

I would support the African Bishops in their split from the Anglican Communion. Unity cannot and should not be obtained by the rewriting of the Bible to suit modern trends!!
Peta Lilford, Raleigh, NC, USA

This is not an "Arica V. the rest" issue - many of us in the Church of England are praying that the primates resist modernist tendencies and remain faithful to the scriptures. Unity is NOT more important than truth - eternal destinies are at stake in this controversy.
John Roberts, UK

Its a bit confusing the stands of the African Bishops. They seem to be happy with members of the church having multiple wives. They have done little within the church to promote the equal rights of women by allowing them to join the clergy. However, when it comes to homosexuality, they come out all firing with a huge tone of pique. What happened to the God of love and compassion?? Please Bishops, concentrate on Africa's many problems - HIV,Poverty, Corruption and bad goverance. Remember, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God!!!
Kay, London, England




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