Episcopal leaders condemn conservative breakaway group

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2002

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The executive council of the Episcopal Church issued a statement saying it is ''saddened and grieved'' by the actions of the conservative breakaway group, the Anglican Mission in America.

The council, meeting Feb. 22-25, approved a resolution saying it was ''untenable'' to have two groups claiming communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Anglican Mission in America draws conservatives who want to remain Anglicans but reject the Episcopal Church, especially over its policy allowing individual dioceses to tolerate homosexual behavior.

Last June, Archbishop Datuk Yong Ping Chung of Southeast Asia and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda went to Colorado to consecrate four bishops in the Anglican Mission in America, defying Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.

The Episcopal executive council said it would consider any bishops participating in such ordinations to be in violation of their vows to conform to the doctrine of the Episcopal Church.

The resolution ended with a call for dialogue.

''While we as an executive council are at various points of understanding regarding a number of matters, we are united in our resolve to strive for unity in diversity without the necessity of division,'' the panel said.

The Anglican Mission in America reports about 8,000 adherents, 80 clergy and 40 congregations. The Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has 2.3 million members.

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