Verbatims from yesterday's press conference with the Archbishop of Canterbury include:
"I would hope that a gay or lesbian person who would want to be a Christian would want affirmation and challenge and would want to be challenged as to what is the way to live life as a follower of Christ. I hope we are clarifying the belief that is being and has been expressed in a number of conferences that violence against gay and lesbian people is inexcusable."
"Certainly gay and lesbian people have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place gay and lesbian people may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional theology of the church lets us move in that direction."
Finally, responding to a question about "healing" for homosexual persons, Williams replied, "That question presupposes that homosexual inclination is a disease. I do not assume that myself."
In other news ...
Washington Post: Anglican Leader Plays Down Schism
The Rev. Susan Russell, a California priest who heads Integrity, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Episcopalians ... said she was encouraged by Williams's comments at the news conference, where several conservative-leaning bishops also sounded conciliatory. "My take is there are some who are invested in pulling off this schism. And they have nothing to gain by us being in conversation," Russell said. Williams "just took the wind out of their sails."
Episcopal Life: Archbishop of Canterbury "encouraged"
After two days of "encouraging" talks with the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told reporters September 21 that if the Anglican Communion resolves its differences enough to avoid schism "it will have done something for the entire Christian community."
Walking With Integrity offers a Press Coverage Round Up and Titusonenine posted a Blog Round Up yesterday.