Conservatives vote to divide Anglicans

Sept. 23, 2006 at 5:01 PM
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KIGALI, Rwanda, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Asian and African bishops of the Anglican communion, meeting in Rwanda, have adopted a formal proposal to split the church into two wings.

The plan would allow conservative Episcopal churches and dioceses in the United States to form a separate organization that would remain in the Anglican communion, The Times of London reported.

The main issue is the church's attitude toward homosexuality and especially the ordination of openly gay, non-celibate priests. The Episcopal Church forced the issue when it approved the New Hampshire diocese's choice of the openly gay Gene Robinson as its bishop.

Women's ordination is another divisive issue, although not as fundamental, the report said.

"We believe that we would be failing in our apostolic witness if we do not make this provision for those who hold firmly to a commitment to historic Anglican faith," the bishops said.

Under the plan, the United States would be divided into two provinces, which would both be in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, but not with each other.

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