Greenbelt Interfaith News
    U.S. Brief

    August 23, 1997

    Episcopal Group Resolves to Form Separate Province

    Fallout from July's General Convention of the Episcopal Church has been immediate, as the Episcopal Synod of America voted on July 28 to form a separate, non-geographical province (independent Anglican body). The 23,000-member synod, which opposes the ordination of women and the approval of homosexual behavior, said in an open letter that it was frustrated by various resolutions passed by the Episcopal Church's legislative body, including a resolution making women's ordination mandatory in all regions of the church. "The 72nd General Convention has passed judgment upon itself," the letter said.

    In the letter and in a statement approved at the same time during its Philadelphia meeting, the synod unveiled plans to form an "orthodox Province of the Anglican Communion in America," and also pledged to allow its bishops to oversee Episcopal churches whose own bishops they believe to be unorthodox. The synod does not see itself as a breakaway group, but rather as a remnant of the faithful. "We are not leaving anything or going anywhere," the synod said. "We will continue to be who we are. We have waited patiently for the right moment, and now is the acceptable time." In order to become a province in the worldwide Anglican Communion, the new province would require approval from England's archbishop of Canterbury. According to The Times of London, a spokesman for the Anglican Communion Office said that it was virtually impossible that the archbishop would approve the synod's plan.

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson