The battle between conservatives and liberals in the Episcopal Church doesn’t only hinge on gay rights. Rather, issues involving increasing acceptance and borrowing of non-Christian theology and spirituality are playing a role in the conflict, reports the current issue of Christian Challenge, a traditionalist Anglican magazine (December-January).
The magazine reports on a controversy in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, where the Cathedral Church of Our Savior in Philadelphia has offered its liturgical space as “user-friendly” to the Muslim and Jewish communities.
In Denver, the Episcopal cathedral recently added a Muslim Shiite cleric to its full-time staff. Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni, a native of Iraq, will head the cathedral’s fledgling Abrahamic Initiative, a bridge building effort among Christians, Jews and Muslims.
More controversial is the practice by a growing number of parishes in the Diocese of Northern California to permit the unbaptized to receive communion. This new form of “open communion” conflicts with the past tradition of allowing only baptized Christians to the sacrament. A proposal to bar this practice was defeated at the diocesan convention.
(Christian Challenge, 1215 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, DC 20003)