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Radical bishops split Anglican church

June 19, 2008 22:26 IST

A religious row has erupted among Christian leaders, with conservative priests moving to split the worldwide Anglican Communion over liberal attitude towards homosexuals.

Angrily rejecting any association with liberals who tolerate homosexual clergies, the traditionalists warned that the 450-year-old church has plunged into one of its greatest crises since the Reformation. The conservative church leaders were adamant that the worldwide Anglican communion could only be rescued by the repentance of the Americans who triggered the row by ordaining a homosexual bishop, the Right Reverend Gene Robinson, five years ago.

The formal announcement of the schism is contained in an 89-page document titled, The Way, the Truth and the Life, which has been drawn up by hardline Anglicans ahead of the breakaway Gafcon summit next week, The Daily Telegraph said on Thursday. The document, which has been seen by the British daily, targets Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has been accused by the hardline leaders of failing to hold the Anglican Communion together.

The document is supported by the heads of key African churches including Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda. "There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Communion," Archbishop Peter Akinola, the primate of Nigeria, was quoted by the daily as saying in the document. Lacking the powers of a Pope, Dr Williams is facing an uphill task in maintaining a consensus among Anglicans in 164 countries.

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