It’s another day in paradise for the Anglican Church, in which, as right-wing blog The American Daily notes, “ties have become so strained because of Episcopal sodomy approval that the worldwide Anglican Communion is not much in communion any longer. It is pained. It is split. It is fighting.”
The dioceses of Central Florida and Springfield, IL, are the latest to join Pittsburgh; South Carolina; San Joaquin, CA; and Fort Worth, TX, in turning their backs on the Episcopal Church USA. As with most separations, irreconcilable differences is behind the split.
The ECUSA, the American branch of the 77-million-member Anglican Communion, created a firestorm of controversy in 2003 when, against Anglican policy, it elevated an openly gay bishop. Conservative tempers ignited again on June 18, when the US church named Katharine Jefferts Schori, a woman who has blessed same-sex unions, as its new presiding bishop.
In response, the dioceses want out of the ECUSA chain of command. They are not quitting the Episcopal Church, according to Bishop Robert W. Duncan of Pittsburgh, merely asking Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, nominal head of the Communion, to assign them “alternative primatial oversight” — temporary leadership from a conservative primate from outside of the US. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that two large right-wing Northern Virginia congregations will undergo “40 days of discernment” in the fall to decide their actions.
I suspect many more will follow. May they go with God.