Breakaway conservative Episcopal churches are planning to form a new Anglican church in North America.
Leaders of the Common Cause Partnership, a group representing more than 100,000 church members, say they will unveil a new church constitution December 3 at Wheaton Evangelical Free Church in Wheaton, Illinois.
Bishop Robert Duncan, who was ousted by the Episcopal church last month, has been elected to lead the new group.
The new church is expected to be recognized by several Anglican bishops. However, church leaders do not expect the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to officially accept the church.
Conservatives Want New Church Body
The formation of a new church body was called for by conservative church leaders last June at the Global Anglican Future Conference.
"One conclusion of the Global Anglican Future Conference held in Jerusalem last June was that the time for the recognition of a new Anglican body in North America had arrived," said Duncan. "The public release of our draft constitution is an important concrete step toward the goal of a biblical, missionary and united Anglican Church in North America," he said.
The Most Rev. Maurice Sinclair, former Archbishop of the Southern Cone in South America, says there is natural reluctance to form a rival body alongside what has been a historic part of the Anglican Communion. He believes Anglicans should support the formation of the new body to avoid increasing risks to the well-being of the Communion.
"Revisionists believe that they are acting out of justice love," he wrote in an earlier statement. "Conservatives seek to be loyal to the way of Christ according to the traditional interpretation and plain meaning of Scripture. Surely it is better that both follow conscience rather than demanding a compromise of conscience that neither is willing to make."
Four dioceses have left the liberal Episcopal church over disputes of biblical interpretation and homosexuality.
The tensions began in 2003 when the Episcopal church consecrated its first openly gay bishop.
Source: The Christian Post