Church of England Recognizes U.S. Church

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The Church of England is taking a small step to recognize the new breakaway Episcopal group in the U.S., the Anglican Church in North America.

The Church of England says it "recognizes and affirms" the group's desire to be part of the worldwide Anglican communion, but stopped short of formally recognizing them or "being in communion" with them.

Rev. Robert Duncan, head of the ACNA, said the vote "is very encouraging."

Immediate support and recognition came from a number of Anglican provinces, including provinces of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Nigeria.

Conservatives left the mainline Anglican church over differences on the ordination of gay bishops, same- sex marriage and Biblical authority. They say they take even the smallest acknowledgement from the Church of England as a positive sign.

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