Countless weddings have taken place there. But this wasn't just another one at St. Bartholomew the Great in London. On May 31st, two male Anglican priests were "married" at St. Bart's in a traditional ceremony conducted by a fellow priest.
And what timing. In three more weeks, many of the world's Anglican bishops--some are refusing to attend--will gather at the University of Kent in Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference, held only once every ten years. They've got a lot to talk about. Their fellowship seems on the verge of becoming two different churches.
Henry Orombi, the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda has called the wedding "blasphemous." An out-spoken critic of creeping liberalism in his communion, he's also called on Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of world-wide Anglicans, to do something decisive.
Tom Wright, the celebrated New Testament scholar and Christian apologist, has spoken of what he understands as biblical condemnation of homosexuality. Now that he's the Bishop of Durham (appointed in 2003) he's one of the highest-ranking leaders in the Anglican communion. One can only wonder how far his influence and persuasive powers will go on this question.
In the meantime, conservative churches in the United States may see a few of their Episcopal neighbors showing up at their worship services. (The Episcopal Church is the name of the American segment of the larger Anglican fellowship). When Gene Robinson, an openly-homosexual priest, was elected Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, at least two members of nearby Episcopal churches showed up at the Church of Christ where I was then the preacher. I don't think they cared much for our low-church "liturgy." But they cared even less for what they saw as their church's abandonment of the Bible.