The Archbishop of Canterbury has said in a statement on his website that the Anglican Church may have to accept a “two track” communion where believers can hold different opinions about gay clergy and same-sex unions.
“The ideal is that both ‘tracks’ should be able to pursue what they believe God is calling them to be as Church, with greater integrity and consistency,” Rowan Williams writes.
“All of this is to do with becoming the Church God wants us to be, for the better proclamation of the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ. It would be a great mistake to see the present situation as no more than an unhappy set of tensions within a global family struggling to find a coherence that not all its members actually want.”
His comments come in response to a decision by US Episcopal Church last week to authorise bishops to bless same-sex unions and research an official prayer for the ceremonies.
The Episcopal Church caused an uproar among some Anglicans, when in 2003 they consecrated the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
Williams, the Anglican spiritual leader, has struggled since to keep the communion unified since.
While Williams has previously urged the Episcopal Church to not move forward with same-sex unions and the ordination of gay clergy in order to avoid a schism, he said in his message that, “no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties or their place within the Body of Christ.”