American conservatives formed their own Anglican network of churches this week, as debate surrounding homosexuality within the worldwide Anglican communion continues.
A splinter group of conservative Episcopalians (American Anglicans) formed the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes after a Texas conference held this week, America’s ABC NewsÂ reported.
The protest group’s charter released on Tuesday said the decision to appoint gay Bishop Gene Robinson had brought immense harm and that the Network would constitute a true and legitimate expression of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The charter also asserted, however, that they were not intending to split from the Anglican Church. BBC NewsÂ noted that an official split from the church would mean the group would have to surrender their properties to the main denomination.
The Network’s charter was ratified by about 100 delegates from 12 dioceses, representing a congregation of about 235,000 members: about a tenth of the worldwide Anglican communion. The network was recommended by the archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in October as a way of avoiding a schism.
Williams is currently preparing for a debate on homosexuality within the UK, with the general synod of the Church of England meeting on 11 February. According to The Guardian, synod members are being sent a copy of Permanent, Faithful, Stable, a book by Canon Jeffrey John arguing in favour of the ordination of gay clergy. Gay canon John was dissuaded from accepting the title of bishop by Williams last July to avoid a split in the Anglican Church, prior to the appointment in the US of Bishop Robinson.