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Chicago Episcopal Bishop Speaks Out On Gay Ordination

By Aaron Bailey in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 28, 2005 5:28PM

It is sinful, and it is irresponsible, and someday we will look back on this period of our history and ask, 'Why were we so obsessed with this issue?' We're using this to stir up people who have more to worry about, who are living with widespread AIDS and famine and poverty.

persell.jpgWith those words, Chicago's Episcopal bishop, William Persell, jumped into the Anglican divide over ordination of gays in the church.

Anglican leaders were in Ireland last week to discuss what to do with North American Episcopal churches who have ordained gay and lesbian ministers such as Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. During the meeting, the Archbishop of Canterbury in England admitted that this issue has caused a deep divide within the church and called on American churches to realize "how deep that hurt and fracture might be."

North American churches were called to "voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council" until 2008.

Persell said the Church would weather the storm: "The church got through the period of slavery, which many said was justified by scripture. We are still as a communion in the process of dealing with women; in this country we have women bishops, but the Church of England does not. These things take time."