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Episcopal diocese requests membership in Catholic Church

.- An Episcopalian diocese approached the Vatican and requested to come into the Roman Catholic Church, Seattle Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"We were approached by a whole Episcopal diocese about coming into the Roman Catholic Church, as perhaps Anglican Rite Catholics," he said on his return from meetings in Rome. The Episcopal diocese refuses to recognize the consecration of the first openly homosexual bishop, Canon Gene Robinson, in the U.S. Brunett would not identify the diocese.

"I can't tell you how much anger I hear from Anglican bishops around the world," the archbishop added in the report. "It puts us on the spot. We don't have any disagreement with the Anglican Church. It is that this section of it, the Episcopal Church, has decided to separate itself from the Anglican Communion."

News of this request came as an announcement was made that the scheduled February meeting of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) in Seattle has been postponed.

Brunett, co-chair of the commission, who was to host the meeting, said the Nov. 2 consecration has created "a major problem" in relations between the two churches.

However, the dream of unity remains strong, he said at a news conference, because agreement on theological issues has remained "very close" and both sides "certainly work hard to cultivate that relationship," reported the Episcopal News Service.

American and Australian Anglicans  opposed to blessing homosexual unions have been in Rome discussing a possible reunion with the Roman Catholic Church while retaining Anglican customs and liturgy, according to the Rev. David Moyer, president of Forward in Faith in North America, reported ENS.

According to ENS, the Orthodox have also halted ecumenical relations with Anglicans. The Russian Orthodox announced Nov. 17 that it was suspending cooperation with the Episcopal Church. And the Oriental Orthodox Churches postponed a meeting with Anglicans, arguing that the dialogue "would be better served by waiting, at present, for the Anglican Communion to have time to take proper account of, and reflect upon, the consecration which has taken place. It is very much hoped by all participants that the work of the commission will be resumed at a time convenient to all."

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