From Times Online (UK):
July 22, 2008
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is hoping to keep the church clear of schism
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
The Archbishop of Canterbury has continued his quest for Anglican unity with a strong statement against living in sin and gay sex.
Dr Williams said: "I do not believe that sex outside marriage is as God purposes it."
And he said he remained "committed" to the Church's official stance against gay sex, which aims to preserve Biblical norms.
Dr Williams denied that the Anglican Communion was at an end and said he did not believe the Church of England had entered the Lambeth conference as “a bleeding, hunted animal with arrows in its side” as a result of the vote on women bishops which took place at the General Synod last month.
Asked what his message was to those who had chosen not to attend the conference, Dr Williams said he was “sorry” they were not present.
“I think that the great pity is that to have those voices in the discussions as we have conceived it, would have been, I think, for everybody, a healing and helpful thing, but also a difficult one.
“Are we heading for schism? Well let’s see. If it is the end of the Anglican Communion I do not think anyone has told most of the people here.”
He was speaking as the Church of England's Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement distributed copies at the Lambeth Conference of his 1989 essay The Body's Grace at the conference, in which he adopted a liberal stance towards homosexual love, arguing that the Bible did not necessarily legislate only for "reproductive sex".
Dr Williams' successor as Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Barry Morgan, was among those church leaders who signed petitions to the Home Office yesterday calling for two Ugandan gay rights activists facing deportation to be granted asylum.
The Archbishop's move from a liberal to conservative stance will be reinforced tomorrow when bishops are given the "observations document" of an internal church group set up to resolve the crisis.
The Windsor Continuation Group was formed at the start of this year to take forward the proposals of an earlier report, which called on the US church to roll back its liberal agenda. The report also urged conservative provinces of Africa and Asia to desist from boundary crossing.
A source said the follow-up document, which will be finished and published in full at the end of the year, contained a "sober realism" about the crisis threatening to split the Anglican Church.
The new document is expected to be equally critical of conservative primates who are "poaching" evangelical congregations from the US church by illicitly consecrating of bishops to serve them.
Liberals in The Episcopal Church, which prompted the crisis with the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003, are determined to engineer a backtracking on its commitment not to consecrate any more gay bishops when the next General Convention meets in the summer of 2009.
But tomorrow’s document will spell out in clear terms the disastrous consequences should The Episcopal Church take that direction.
Already, the 230 bishops boycotting the conference have organised their own rival meeting held in Jerusalem last month and set up their alternative Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.
Bishops in the centre fear that any failure to stem the liberal agenda could result in a permanent schism, with the new fellowship providing a home for conservative rebels.
Conference organisers are appealing for funds from around the Communion to rescue them from a financial black hole.
The bishops' conference has cost £4.4 million to organise and the spouses' conference £1.2 million, and the figures do not even include travel costs, being paid for by individual dioceses and provinces. Organisers are still £1 million short.