Scroll To Top
World

U.K. Archbishop
Warns Against Conservative Anglican Challenge

U.K. Archbishop
Warns Against Conservative Anglican Challenge

Anglicanshield_5

The spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans raised questions Monday about the legitimacy of plans to create a global network of conservative Anglicans that would challenge his authority and the teachings of liberal North American churches that are more gay-friendly. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said proposals to set up a separate global council of bishops who would train priests and interpret Scripture would create more problems than they would solve.

The spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans raised questions Monday about the legitimacy of plans to create a global network of conservative Anglicans that would challenge his authority and the teachings of liberal North American churches that are more gay-friendly.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said proposals to set up a separate global council of bishops who would train priests and interpret Scripture would create more problems than they would solve.

A council ''which consists of only a self-selected group ... will not pass the test of legitimacy for all in the Communion,'' he said.

Conservative Anglican priests from Africa and some north American and British churches held a conference in Jerusalem on Sunday to express their outrage at what they consider a ''false gospel'' in liberal churches.

Long-standing divisions over how Anglicans should interpret Scripture erupted in 2003 when the U.S. Episcopal Church, part of the Anglican movement, consecrated its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

On Monday the head of the U.S. Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, said that ''much of the Anglican world must be lamenting the latest emission'' from the Jerusalem conference.

''Anglicanism has always been broader than some find comfortable,'' she said. ''This statement does not represent the end of Anglicanism, merely another chapter in a centuries-old struggle for dominance by those who consider themselves the only true believers.''

The Anglican Communion is a 77 million-member family of churches that trace their roots to the Church of England. It is the third-largest grouping of churches in the world, behind Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, and has always held together different views.

As part of their new fellowship, the conservatives said they would continue to take oversight of breakaway churches in the United States and elsewhere who reject their liberal leaders.

Williams warned that their plans to intervene when congregations or priests around the world complain about the teachings of their local bishops would lead to the church being used to settle personal scores.

''How is a bishop or primate in another continent able to discriminate effectively between a genuine crisis of pastoral relationship and theological integrity, and a situation where are underlying nontheological motivations at work?'' he said.

In their official statement from the conference, the conservative groups said they ''do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the archbishop of Canterbury.''

They also called the current setup for the communion, with the archbishop of Canterbury at its center, ''a colonial structure.''

Some of the key conservative bishops plan to attend a smaller conference Tuesday on global Anglicanism and English orthodoxy at the conservative All Souls Church in central London. (Meera Selva, AP)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories