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Anglican Communion on the Brink of Formal Schism

Deep divides between member churches of the Anglican Communion, over homosexuality and other issues, could precipitate its breakup as early as this week. We’ll discuss it today at 4:20 with Fr. Dwight Longenecker.

welbyCANTERBURY, England — The Anglican Communion stands on the verge of formal schism this week, as its leaders began meeting Monday to discuss the issue of homosexuality and other matters in Canterbury, England.

The five-day meeting, called by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, is seen as a last-ditch attempt to keep the ecclesial community together following a long-running dispute over homosexuality and deeper differences over how Anglicans should interact with today’s largely secular, post-Christian society.

The global summit of 38 primates of the Anglican Communion, which claims to have 85 million followers worldwide, is usually held every two years, but it hasn’t convened since 2011, principally because of the dispute over homosexuality. This week’s meeting will also discuss other issues such as religious violence and climate change.

Since 2003, when Episcopalians (the American branch of Anglicanism) made an active homosexual bishop, divisions have deepened between largely Western Anglicans, who would like to see greater acceptance of homosexuals in the church, and those, mostly in Africa and Asia, who argue it is contrary to Scripture and 2,000 years of Christian teaching. Tensions increased last year when the Episcopal Church moved towards solemnizing same-sex “marriage.”

Read more at National Catholic Register.

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