Anglican church in move to accept gay Christians

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THE WORLDWIDE Anglican church moved a step closer to accepting homosexuality yesterday when its leaders spent the day talking to gay men and lesbians.

Yesterday's meeting in Dundee of the Anglican Consultative Council, the executive of the 70-million strong Anglican Communion, had been boycotted by a prominent conservative, Archbishop Moses Tay of Singapore, because of concern about liberal attitudes to sexuality. Archbishop Tay said that Scotland was one of the Church's "most heretical of provinces".

Despite these tensions, the bishops went ahead with yesterday's event, listening to what they called "the pilgrimage" of gay and lesbian Christians. At the end of the meeting the council said the exercise had provoked in many bishops "the desire to pray for one another remembering that we are all children of God in need of redemption".

The council also announced that in November the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presiding Bishop of the United States Anglican Episcopal Church will lead a world meeting of Anglican leaders in New York to discuss the issue.

During a sermon in Edinburgh earlier yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, sought to heal the public rift that emerged last week between him and Richard Holloway, Bishop of Edinburgh and primus of Scotland. Dr Carey, who has been critical of Dr Holloway's liberal theology, praised his counterpart's warning that clergy are often too concerned with maintaining the church's structure rather than with the Gospels' message.