Magazine article The Christian Century

Conservative Anglicans Hold Joint Service

Magazine article The Christian Century

Conservative Anglicans Hold Joint Service

Article excerpt

In a massive challenge to the leaders of the Episcopal Church, a group of conservative bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion converged on a Pennsylvania church November 26 to hold a confirmation service and make a stand against the U.S. church's liberal-leaning theology.

The presiding bishops of Kenya, Uganda, Congo, and Sydney, Australia, joined Presiding Bishop Maurice Sinclair of Argentina in the service at the Church of the Good Shepherd outside Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison Jr. attended the service and welcomed the Anglican primates, even though church law prohibits bishops from officiating in services outside their own dioceses. "We just exchanged pleasantries, really," Bennison said of his conversations with Sinclair, according to the Associated Press. "I think he was more interested in presenting the issues over which the church is divided than I was."

The Episcopal Church, which is the U.S. branch of the 70-million-member Anglican Communion, is at odds with its more conservative counterparts around the world for its decision to allow the ordination of gay and lesbian priests, as well as giving pastors the option to bless same-sex unions.

Two "missionary" bishops were ordained in Singapore last January to shepherd conservative Episcopalians who feel alienated from the larger church, but the church's hierarchy has not recognized their legitimacy.

The location of the November 26 service was not by accident. …

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