Under pressure

The creation of a conservative movement within the Anglican Church is putting the English honorary primate Rowan Williams under increasing prere. The "church within the church" established at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem effectively means a schism, writes the British Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times." Even though the conservative bishops distanced themselves from a split in their Jerusalem statement, it was still the creation of a parallel structure with its own bishops, priests and seminaries, it said.

According to the BBC, the existence of a "separate shadow communion" will have far-reaching effects on Anglican churches worldwide, creating a "powerful network" for "disgruntled traditionalists". The sheer scale of the movement, which is said to include some 35 million believers within the 78-million-strong world church, poses a "serious threat" to Williams, the Internet edition of the Sunday Telegraph also reported." Other observers rate the inner-church movement as the "most significant event since the Reformation."The dispute between the conservative and liberal wings of the church ignited in 2003 over the appointment of Gene Robinson, an avowed homosexual, as bishop of New Hampshire. Traditionalists accuse Williams of lacking leadership skills for failing to discipline "apostates" in the church. The honorary primate, meanwhile, faces another intra-church row on Friday. At the General Synod of the Church of England in York, the admission of women to the episcopate will be discussed. More than 200 conservative bishops also plan to boycott the Lambeth Conference taking place in England at the end of July. The meeting is the highest decision-making body of the Anglican world communion. The Anglican Church in England has not yet commented on the Jerusalem Declaration. There will be plenty of time at the Lambeth conference to talk about how different groups relate to each other within the church, a spokesman told the Catholic News Agency (KNA).

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