New move to start breakaway U.S. church?

June 13, 2007 at 9:39 PM
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LONDON, June 13 (UPI) -- A group led by African archbishops reportedly plans to consecrate a U.S. Episcopalian to lead a breakaway Anglican church in the United States.

The Telegraph, citing sources, said at least six archbishops are involved in the plan with the Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, as their leader, and with support from some moderate churchmen.

The move could have a devastating effect not just on the Episcopal Church in the United States but on the worldwide Anglican Communion, the British newspaper said. Anglicans have been in an uproar since the U.S. church approved the consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest living with a male partner, as bishop of New Hampshire.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who has described the Anglican Communion as "very vulnerable, very fragile," attempted to damp down the controversy. He recently announced that neither Robinson nor the Rev. Martyn Minns -- a conservative priest named the bishop of a "missionary" church by Nigerian Primate Archbishop Peter Akinola -- will be invited to next year's Lambeth Conference, a gathering of bishops from around the world.

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