Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 14:38 UK

Your comments on Anglican row

Conservative Anglican bishops have criticised their leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for allowing the Bible to be too liberally interpreted. Talks have been opened in Jerusalem at the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon), a meeting for conservative Anglican leaders. BBC News Website readers on either side of the divide have sent in their views.

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WHAT THE LIBERALS SAY

As a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church of the US I am saddened by what is happening. My denomination, or part of it, is telling me that I, as a gay man in a 15 year relationship, am not welcome in the Church. I do not understand how these conservative priests can speak with any more authority than anyone else. Christ challenged people who were without sin to throw the first stone at the condemned woman, yet these prelates are doing exactly that.
Andrew F. Johnson, California, US

I was just confirmed into the Episcopal Church yesterday, after years of feeling uneasy with the tensions in the Communion. But I've come to realise that, no matter what Akinola and his loud bunch say or do, we will continue to be the Church we are and help thousands of people learn that not all Christianity is hateful or divisive. Let the Communion do what it feels it is called to do; that's all we're doing.
Jake, Chicago, US

The Gafcon conference is a retrogressive step. Archbishop Rowan Williams has tried his best to deal with the sexuality issue in a manner that promotes dialogue, listening and inclusiveness. The Anglican Church has always stood for reason, pluralism and tolerance, which is why I am an Anglican. I am deeply distressed by the action of the Bishops who encouraged Gafcon and who plan to boycott the Lambeth conference. This is just not the Anglican way.
Rohan Edrisinha, Colombo, Sri Lanka

If the Church is about love, then unity is key. But unity does not mean sameness. A healthy community can accept difference and disagreement within itself. One of the strengths of the Anglican Communion is the diversity of spirituality and approaches to the Biblical text it has within itself. It would be sad to see such richness broken up into competing factions by demands within certain wings of the communion. The Bible also does not push for such certainty, as it says itself, 'we see through a glass darkly'. I think that leaves room for grace.
Peter Manning, Leamington Spa, England

WHAT THE TRADITIONALISTS SAY

I am a member of the US Episcopal Church. I believe the Archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of the communion but only in a pastoral capacity. What he suggests, we do not have to obey. He is too liberal. I am a conservative in biblical leanings but realise we all may serve Christ in differing beliefs.
Caroline Smoogen, S Carolina, US

I agree with the traditionalist Anglican bishops. It is either what the Bible says or nothing. The Gafcon conference has the support of true believers of the word of God not only from the Anglican church but worldwide. It is a shame that the third world is now teaching the western world what true Christianity means. I am happy there are lots of people standing on the Lord's side, and they must surely survive.
Anen Nwadukwe, Lagos, Nigeria

This time the Traditionalists are right. I do admire the Archbishop of Canterbury and the mantle he has to carry but he has to remember he represents Christians and Christianity as in the Bible. Too often we human beings alter the Bible and their meanings for our convenience. We need to take a stand in our beliefs as Christians - the Bible does categorically state the Christian stand on gays and I am sure these Biblical quotes include gay bishops and priests.
Yeside, United Kingdom

In my opinion, the Church of England will divide. There will be one Church which advocates its own moral compass and priorities, based on its desire to be influenced by 'worldy' wisdom. There will be another Church which refuses to rewrite the Bible, and whose desire is to reflect the character of its founder - Jesus Christ. This latter Church will be considered divisive and unloving by the former. However, there cannot be unity without purity, agreement without holiness. Only the Church which chooses to serve the true God can understand and recognise the voice of God. For such a Church there are extremely tough times ahead.
David Meseg, Liverton, England




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