Anglican Conservatives Propose Constitution
Byline: Julia Duin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A group of about 70 Anglican conservatives on Wednesday released a proposed constitution for a new Anglican province in the United States that will directly compete with the 2.1-million-member Episcopal Church.
The new Anglican Church in North America consists of various groups of conservatives who have split from the denomination over issues of biblical authority since the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop, including four whole dioceses of the Episcopal Church.
On Wednesday night, the new church released its provisional constitution and provisional canons. They declare the group part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, confess to the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and declare eight elements as characteristic of the Anglican Way, and essential for membership.
The eight elements include confessing the Bible as the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life ; accepting the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles of the Church of England, from 1562; and affirming the Global Anglican Future Conference Statement and Jerusalem Declaration of June 29.
The move challenges the Episcopal Church's status as the only Anglican body in the U.S. recognized by the archbishop of Canterbury. The 77-million-member Anglican Communion has 38 provinces around the world, of which the U.S. Episcopal Church is one. The new province will include conservative Canadian Anglican churches to rival the Anglican Church of Canada.
The possibility of a 39th province for conservative North Americans has been discussed for years. Only now do its founders say they have enough people on the ground - about 100,000 - to bring it about.
The Lord is displacing the Episcopal Church, Bishop Robert Duncan said at a news conference in Wheaton, Ill., where the proposed constitution was drafted. He noted that membership and attendance in the Episcopal Church have been declining for years.
We are a body that is growing, that is planting new congregations, that is concerned to be an authentic Christian presence in the U. …