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Anglican-Catholic talks break down over gay Anglican bishop

London's Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Vatican is preparing to suspend unity talks following a final meeting in the New Year, following last month's consecration of the Anglican Communion's first openly gay bishop.

That meeting was only rescued from a Vatican boycott by the dramatic resignation at the weekend of the senior Anglican participant, Bishop Frank Griswold. The liberal bishop, who presides over the American Episcopal Church, split the Anglican Church this month by leading the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

During their October meeting, Pope John Paul II warned Anglican Communion leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, that the issue of homosexuality would jeopardise relations between the two churches.

The indefinite suspension of the talks shelves an historic process begun in the 1960s by Pope Paul VI and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Michael Ramsey.

Relations were already strained over women priests, but the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission had produced a series of reports trying to resolve the doctrinal differences between the churches since the Reformation.

Church unity talks fail over gay bishop (London Telegraph 1/12/03)

No church without communion (The Tablet 8/11/03)
Catholic no comment on Anglican gay bishop consecration (CathNews 4/11/03)
US Bishops official says Anglican gay bishop appointment a setback for ecumenism (CathNews 13/8/03)

2 Dec 2003