Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Conservative Episcopalians Forming New Church

Conservatives within the Episcopal Church angered by the liberal views of the church's leaders plan to form a rival denomination.

The new Anglican Church in North America will include four Episcopal dioceses that recently split from the U.S. church, along with breakaway Anglican parishes from Canada.

The announcement comes after decades of debate over what Episcopalians should believe about issues ranging from salvation to sexuality. Tensions erupted in 2003 when Episcopalians consecrated the first openly gay bishop.

My question: What makes an Anglican "conservative?" Fidelity with the founding tenets of the Anglican communion? Does that mean as Henry VII or Blessed Augustine (the English one...not the "real" one)? The Anglican Church was founded on a tension between Roman Catholicism and English Reformation.

I believe Henry VIII wished for a Church in all things Catholic with the English language as a medium, but settled for what he and his daughter Elizabeth could get. To me that makes a true "conservative" Anglican indistinguishable from a modern Catholic who'd pretty much espouse the same ideas (am I wrong about this??).

The Episcopalian response:

"And we reiterate what has been true of Anglicanism for centuries: that there is room within The Episcopal Church for people with different views, and we regret that some have felt the need to depart from the diversity of our common life in Christ," the Rev. Charles K. Robertson said in the written statement.

Diversity within a single communion? Just because the Anglican Church has committed neither to Catholicism or Protestantism since its very beginning doesn't make it a good idea. There's a good reason why the Church is seeing declining membership in Western Europe, while its more "traditional" branches in Africa and Asia are flourishing. -Steve K.

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