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Gay issue threatens church split

London, Sept. 17 (Reuters): The worldwide Anglican church is in danger of splitting over how it handles homosexuality in the church, Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has said.

In an outspoken rebuke to “liberal” north American bishops, the spiritual leader of the world’s 70 million Anglicans accused them of ignoring the church’s agreed position on the controversial issue.

Some bishops in the United States and Canada are reportedly planning to bless same-sex unions, outraging traditionalists who support bans on gay marriages and ordination of practising homosexuals.

“My concern is that our communion is being steadily undermined by dioceses and individual bishops taking unilateral action, usually, but not always, in matters to do with sexuality,” Carey said.

“And as a result (they are) steadily driving us towards serious fragmentation and the real possibility of two, or, more likely, many more distinct Anglican bodies emerging.” Carey, who retires next month, was speaking in a farewell presidential address yesterday to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Hong Kong.

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