(Editor's Note: Clarifies 3rd paragraph)
(CNSNews.com) - A traditional-minded group of American Episcopalians Thursday issued a near unanimous backing of a statement repudiating the church for its position on homosexuality and requesting the global Anglican Church leadership to "intervene in the Episcopal Church."
The American Anglican Council's declaration, issued at its meeting in Dallas, Texas, rejects the elevation of Rev. Gene Robinson, who is homosexual, to the position of bishop and describes Robinson as "a man engaged in sexual activity outside the bonds of Holy Matrimony."
Robinson reportedly left his wife after announcing he was homosexual, but was elected bishop of New Hampshire earlier this year and formally elevated at the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, Minn.
"These actions directly contradict Holy Scripture, the traditions of the Church, and our own (Episcopalian) Constitution," the declaration states. "They also imperil our relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion."
The American Anglican Council (AAC), according to its mission statement, "is a network of individuals, parishes, specialized ministries and Episcopal bishops who affirm Biblical authority and Anglican orthodoxy within the Episcopal Church."
AAC members are calling on the worldwide leaders of the Anglican Communion, which includes the U.S. Episcopal Church, to punish Episcopal bishops who "departed from biblical faith and order" by electing Robinson as bishop and allowing homosexual marriages in and by the Episcopal church.
It also asks the primates of the Anglican Communion's 38 worldwide branches to "guide the realignment" of Anglicanism in North America.
"Our grief and anguish concerning these actions is profound. In good conscience we cannot accept this scandalous innovation in the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church," the declaration continues. "Our Articles of Religion tell us that 'councils can err and have erred,' and the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church has erred grievously."
Christ Church Episcopal of Plano, Texas, sponsored Thursday's conference, originally planned as a strategy session by 200 to 300 activists to formulate a response to the elevation of Robinson as bishop. However, approximately 2,700 Episcopalians (not all AAC members) attended, according to press reports.
The 38 Anglican primates will gather in London Oct. 15 for a two-day emergency meeting called by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to address the situation.
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