Dissident Episcopalians form new church

June 23, 2009 at 3:41 PM
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BEDFORD, Texas, June 23 (UPI) -- About 800 dissidents from the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada have voted to create a new Anglican Church in North America.

The delegates meeting at St. Vincent's Cathedral in Bedford, Texas, are scheduled to vote Wednesday on canons and by-laws, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. They adopted a constitution Monday.

The group, which disagrees with Anglican churches in the United States and Canada on the ordination of women and of non-celibate homosexuals, hopes to become a separate province in North America recognized by the Anglican Communion. They are supported by conservative bishops in Africa and South America, including a number who attended the convention.

Robert Duncan, formerly the Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh, is to be ordained archbishop of the new group Wednesday night. He warned recognition is likely to be a lengthy process.

"This is a great moment in Anglican history and for Christians everywhere," Duncan said. "But this is not so much a conclusion of something as it is a beginning."

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