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Bishop resigns from dialogue

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The crisis within the Anglican Communion following the ordination of an openly gay bishop in the United States has led the ordaining bishop to resign his post on the Anglican-Catholic dialogue team.

At the same time, the Vatican and the Anglican Communion announced they were convoking a panel of experts to study the “ecclesiological issues” raised by the US Episcopal Church’s decision to ordain an openly gay bishop and the decision’s potential to split the Anglican Communion.

Bishop Frank Griswold, the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church in the United States, resigned as Anglican co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) on November 29 “in the interest of not jeopardising the present and future life and work of the commission”.

Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, who is the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, accepted his resignation saying, “I am very sorry that this has seemed the best course”, but he thanked the US bishop for his contributions to the dialogue.

ARCIC is responsible for the official theological dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

Bishop Griswold in early November ordained Bishop V. Gene Robinson, a divorced father of three who has been living with his male partner for 13 years, to head the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire.

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