Conservatives form rival group to Episcopal Church

"WHEATON, Ill. – Theological conservatives upset by the liberal views of the Episcopal Church are forming a rival denomination.

The new Anglican Church in North America will include four Episcopal dioceses that recently split from the U.S. church, along with breakaway Anglican parishes from Canada.

The announcement Wednesday in Wheaton, Illinois, comes after decades of debate over what Episcopalians should believe about issues ranging from salvation to sexuality. Tensions erupted in 2003 when Episcopalians consecrated the first openly gay bishop.

The world Anglican Communion is a fellowship of churches with roots in the Church of England. The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States. But the new North American church says it represents true Anglican beliefs."

  1. Just what we need: another denomination.
  2. At the same time, good for them to decide the Episcopalian Church has deviated too much. As I’ve said, ‘A Church founded solely on the doctrine of divorce on demand is having problems now?!! Who knew?!’

Its a huge step. Previously, the four breakaway diocese were looking at affiliating with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone (which is based in Argentina). But what they are now proposing to is a direct rival to The Episcopal Church.

But doubts remain as to whether or how it will be recognised by the wider Anglican Communion.

The Communion’s Secretary General, Canon Kenneth Kearon, has told the BBC that it is entering what he called uncharted waters, and he is calling on the leaders of the new Church to act in accordance with the Communion’s existing regulations.

“The issue as I see it is whether in fact this body, or province as they’re calling it, wishes to be recognised as a province of the Anglican Communion,” he said.

“And I think if they do, there are clear procedures by which that might be explored. And I do urge those involved to address the structures of the Communion.”

But those supporting the new North American Church believe that Anglicanism’s structures have been unable to safeguard the Church’s unity, and they now look to leadership from a group of largely African leaders.

Good for the conservative Anglicans. As of the last couple years this seemed almost inevitable. I think we can expect to see more schisms in mainline Protestant denominations and for the very same reasons we see here. The issues of homosexuality, salvation, Scriptures, etc, will continue to be divisive points between liberals and conservatives and I just don’t see either side accepting any significant compromises.

I guess the four breakaway diocese were forced into forming a rival to The Episcopal Church

A conservative province in the Anglican church faces “punishment” this week for offering a safe haven to conservatives.

Senior bishops and laity meeting in London are to consider suspending the Anglican church in South America for taking rebel US dioceses under its wing.

The move will bring the Anglican Communion closer to a formal split. Early next month, rebel conservatives are expected to finalise plans for a new Anglican province in the US, to sit as a parallel jurisdiction alongside the existing Episcopal Church.

Unless this new province is recognised as part of the Anglican family by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and the other 38 primates, it will in effect become a new Anglican church.

They could’ve just went back to Rome.

Some parishes are attempting to do that very thing. :slight_smile:

And I think several have succeeded.:smiley:

Really? Do you have any links about those cases?

My thoughts exactly! Why don’t they just come home?

What happens when the Protestants start protesting their own religion?

Yeah, I was surprised to find out they formed their own diocese when I heard that many Episcopals/Anglicans were trying to get in communion with Rome.

I suppose that since the U.S. Catholic Church is a little liberal too (USSCB), that might pose a problem.

This effort also involves people and Anglican parishes here in Canada, particularly the part where I live.

This is not really a unity exercise; it’s a fission exercise. All the groups involved have gone their own way, and have now formed a sort of loose confederation. Their new constitution allows for episcopal oversight, but it can be either geographic or affinity based. So, if the latter, the phenomenon of bishop-shopping and bishop-hopping is fair game. This hardly manifests a mechanism of unity.

In the area I live in, Anglicans claiming “Communion” membership are now in 3 distinct groups: the Canadian Anglican church, and 2 break off groups under different bishops. I know people in these groups, and the odds of them coming together under one bishop are virtually zero. The 2 break off groups will remain as they are. Where’s the unity there?

The whole process has been one of separation. A movement here in Canada, to counter liberal “Christian” revisions, called “Essentials” was formed by the cooperation of 3 Anglican groups - evangelicals, anglo-catholics, and charismatics. Later, it formed into a “federation” and a “network”, the latter setting up under an offshore bishop. Now, the former group is dissolving its corporate connection to them, essentially killing Essentials.

The group that one of the two break off groups first joined has itself, effectively, partitioned into two (though not (yet) corporately divided). There are those who do, and those who do not, recognize women’s Anglican ordination.

The rival group with the new constitution includes the Reformed Episcopal Church. These Anglicans proclaim their Protestantism, and really have been quite uninterested in being a part of the Anglican Communion as it has been, for quite some decades. Yet this new group somehow is seeking to be part of the Anglican Communion just as are the 2 national churches it seeks to substitute for. Rather than a new Anglican “province”, this is a new denomination. Again, unity is not evident.

I can understand why Christians would flee the Canadian and US Anglican national churches. It’s sad they had to, in a way, because it bespeaks a situation that fosters indifference - many just quit rather than moved elsewhere. This new structure seems not to be structured for long term endurance, either.



this made me laugh out loud

They develop into other religions, such as Mormonism and the Westboro Baptist Church.

Unless they now move towards coming into the Catholic Church this is all just a waste of time - they have simply created yet another Protestant denomination.

How is the USSCB theologically liberal? This isn’t about politics, it’s about theology.

This is massive. The liberal vs traditionalist factions have in some ways united people in the communion though, for example on the conservative side, for the first time we see hardline evangelicals (such as Jensen) and anglo-catholics working together.
Sad that this has had to happen though.

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