The Church of England is part of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide family of Anglican churches in more than 160 different countries. In such a diverse community of churches, the issues surrounding human sexuality have always been hotly debated.
Giles Fraser calls for the Church to act on homophobia
During the launch of the Windsor report, Dr Robin Eames left his audience in no doubt that homophobia is totally unacceptable within the Anglican Communion. Given this, much rides on the question whether opposing the consecration of the Rt Revd Gene Robinson is homophobic. If it is, then the logical conclusion emerges that those who would deny the Bishop of New Hampshire his mitre have no place in the Communion.
Sex was the occasion for the Windsor Report, not its subject. The commission was charged with looking at the deeper problem within the global Anglican family: how to remain as a family, despite diversity.
The theological word for "family" is "communion". This pregnant term evokes, among other things, participation in the life of the triune God, the consequent partnership of Christians with one another, and the expression of both in the Eucharist. The question is: What does this "communion" mean in practice? Does it have boundaries and constraints, and if so what are they? How much diversity is appropriate?
John Barton argues that Anglican debates over women bishops are settled
The strongest opposition to women bishops argues ontologically from the nature of the two sexes, and tends to result in what I would call an "impossibilist" position. It is not just that women ought not to be ordained, but that they cannot be: the thing is an impossibility. My impression is that the present pope believes this.