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Conservative Anglicans hope to avoid split

June 25, 2008 at 12:54 PM

JERUSALEM, June 25 (UPI) -- Conservative religious leaders meeting in Israel say they hope to avoid a split in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Instead, they are working out the details of an organization that would unite Anglicans who oppose homosexual clergy, The Telegraph (Britain) reported. They say the group will develop out of existing agreements where conservative bishops in the United States have joined churches in Africa and South America.

The Gafcon Summit in Jerusalem is a conservative alternative to the Lambeth Conference, which is to be held this summer in Britain. Lambeth is held every 10 years for Anglican leaders from around the world.

Bishop Bill Atwood, an Episcopalian in Texas, was consecrated last year by the diocese of Kenya.

"Agreed principles will lead to new voluntary associations," Atwood said . "There certainly will be new voluntary associations and those will arise out of

principles and a shared purpose and vision."

There were already disagreements within the church over women's ordination and other issues when the diocese of New Hampshire selected an openly gay priest, Gene Robinson, as its bishop. The U.S. General Convention ratified that decision.

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