Catholic World News News Feature
Conservative Anglicans to announce schism June 20, 2008
Conservative Anglican prelates, meeting in Israel next week in an alternative to the Lambeth Conference, will announce that they can no longer remain in communion with the Church of England, the London Daily Telegraph reports.
The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), convened by African Anglican bishops, will essentially announce a schism in the Anglican communion, according to the Telegraph story. The conservative bishops will say that there is no realistic prospect for retaining unity among the world's Anglican leaders because of grave disagreements on doctrine and practice.
The GAFCON meeting was called by Anglican prelates who are at odds with their liberal colleagues over the ordination of an openly homosexual American bishop, Gene Robinson. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has struggled to maintain unity despite these severe disagreements. But Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, the most prominent leader of the conservative wing, sees that struggle as doomed. In a statement prepared for the GAFCON meeting, the African prelate says flatly: "There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified communion."
The GAFCON meeting-- gathered in advance of the Lambeth Conference, convened every 10 years by the Archbishop of Canterbury-- will discuss a 89-page document entitled The Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Daily Telegraph reports. That document details the conservative prelates' disagreements with the Anglican mainstream, and explains why they cannot remain in communion with their American and English counterparts.
Originally scheduled to take place in Amman, Jordan, the GAFCON meeting was moved to Israel when Archbishop Akinola was denied entry into Jordan.