Home > Queensland Synod News > Rival Anglican denomination announced for North America

Rival Anglican denomination announced for North America


Episcopalians in North America unhappy with what they say is the "liberal turn" of the U.S. branch of Anglicanism have announced they are forming an alternative denomination, or province.

The 3 December announcement of the formation of what its proponents are calling an "emerging Anglican Church in North America" is among the most dramatic developments in a recent history of growing tension within the U.S. Episcopal (Anglican) Church over issues related to sexuality and church authority.

"The public release of our draft constitution is an important concrete step toward the goal of a biblical, missionary and united Anglican Church in North America," said Robert Duncan, the former Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Episcopal Church removed Duncan from his post as Pittsburgh bishop in September for his "abandonment" of the U.S. denomination.

The announcement of a new province was made at a non-Episcopal, evangelical church in suburban Chicago. The working name of the coalition supporting the new province, Common Cause Partnership, said it represents about 100 000 church members in the United States and Canada.

A 4 December statement issued by the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the spiritual head of the 77-million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion, said, there are specific steps that need to be taken for the creation of new Anglican provinces. "Once begun, any of these processes will take years to complete. In relation to the recent announcement from the meeting of the Common Cause Partnership in Chicago, the process has not yet begun," a statement said, as reported by the Episcopal News Service.

The new province consists of four U.S. dioceses, including Pittsburgh, that have left the U.S. Episcopal Church recently, as well as other U.S. and Canadian traditionalist groups.

The U.S. Episcopal Church said that it and its counterparts in Canada and Mexico "comprise the official, recognised presence of the Anglican Communion in North America".

The Rev. Charles Robertson, speaking for the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, stated, "There is room within The Episcopal Church for people with different views, and we regret that some have felt the need to depart from the diversity of our common life in Christ."

Those opposed to the course of the Episcopal Church are unhappy with a number of moves in recent years, including the 2003 consecration of V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay divorced father who is living with a male partner, as the bishop of the state of New Hampshire.

(c) Ecumenical News International