The Church of England -- Troubles Abounding

posted May 1, 2010, 11:56 PM by Professor Katz   [ updated May 3, 2010, 12:34 AM ]
Henry VIII would be very sad to learn that his Church of England (the Anglican Church), and its American province, the Episcopalian Church, are in deep trouble.  First there were problems between the English and the Americans over female clergy, and then in September 1988 the Rev. Barbara C. Harris of Philadelphia was elected suffragan (i.e. assistant) bishop of Massachusetts, being female (not to mention divorced and African-American):
 
 
Then, in 2003, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church affirmed the election of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire, despite the fact that earlier he had addressed a church committee explaining the theological context for his sixteen-year relationship with a gay partner:
 
 
Bishop Harris was there to greet Bishop Robinson at his consecration service:
 
 
The break-up of Episcopalianism finally came in December 2008, when the break-away "Anglican Church in North America" was founded: http://anglicanchurch.net/.  The following June they elected their first archbishop, Robert Duncan, the former Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh:
 
 
Now with the Anglican churches of Nigeria and Uganda in communion with it, the Anglican Church in North America represents about a third of world-wide Anglicanism.  These former parts of the British Empire -- North America and Africa -- will determine the fate of global Anglicanism, just as 1700 years ago, distant outposts of the Roman Empire determined the fate of global Christianity.
 
 
You can read more about all of this at: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/04/17/060417fa_fact5
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