U.S. Episcopal bishops say church has neglected economic justice

Published March 20, 2009

Episcopal bishops in the United States say their church has been too consumed with internal controversies and therefore failed adequately to address economic concerns.”We have often failed to speak a compelling word of commitment to economic justice,” the bishops wrote in the letter issued after a March 13 to 18 retreat in North Carolina.The clerics said the 2.2-million-member Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism, has “too often been preoccupied as a Church with internal affairs and a narrow focus that has absorbed both our energy and interest and that of our Communion – to the exclusion of concern for the crisis of suffering both at home and abroad”.The church has been preoccupied with controversies surrounding the 2003 consecration of V. Gene Robinson – an openly gay man with a male partner – as the Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire. Robinson’s consecration stirred reaction within the U.S. church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. Four U.S. dioceses have left the Episcopal Church, while some Anglican bishops from other parts of the world have boycotted events attended by U.S. bishops.In the letter, the U.S. bishops said, “We have often failed to speak truth to power, to name the greed and consumerism that has pervaded our culture, and we have too often allowed the culture to define us instead of being formed by Gospel values.”


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