The Road to Schism: Episcopal Leaders Stand for Equality

Bishops of the Episcopal Church on Tuesday rejected demands by leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion to roll back the church’s liberal stance on homosexuality, increasing the possibility of fracture within the communion and the Episcopal Church itself.

After nearly a week of talks at their semiannual meeting in New Orleans, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution that defied a directive by the Anglican Communion’s regional leaders, or primates, to change several church policies regarding the place of gay men and lesbians in their church. But the bishops also expressed a desire to remain part of the communion, and they appeared to be trying to stake out a middle ground that would allow them to do so.

Still, up to five American dioceses led by theologically conservative bishops may try to break with the Episcopal Church and place themselves under the oversight of a foreign primate in the coming months, said the Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, a conservative Episcopal strategist.

“We’ll have the chaos here increase as more individuals, parishes and dioceses begin moving,” Mr. Harmon said. “What will happen is that we will see more of the disunity here spread to the rest of the communion.”

Episcopal Bishops Reject Anglican Church’s Orders – NY Times

Episcopal bishops promise ‘restraint’ – LA Times

In the interest of showing some fealty to the Anglican Communion, US denominational leaders say they will restrain themselves and try not to approve gay bishops or bless same-sex unions in the future. But for many conservative Episcopalaians and Anglicans, that statement is not equivocal enough.

“This simply is not what was asked for,” Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan said in a statement. Duncan’s diocese is among several, including Fresno-based San Joaquin, that are taking steps to break with the national church. …

An official response from the communion may take months.