A powerful coalition of conservative Anglican leaders is preparing to create a parallel church for conservatives in the United States, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.
The parallel church would be in defiance of appeals made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, to his fellow primates to refrain from provocative actions. If this parallel Church is pursued, it would provoke the biggest schism in the history of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
According to sources obtained by The Daily Telegraph, at least six primates are planning the consecration of a prominent U.S. cleric as a bishop to minister to members of the Episcopalian Church, who have rejected their liberal bishops over the issue of homosexuality.
The initiative is said to have been co-ordinated by senior African archbishops, including the Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. The group, representing more than 10 million Anglicans, is also thought to include several moderate primates from outside Africa.
The plan is not being led by the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, who has already set up a similar “missionary” church in the U.S., headed by Bishop Martyn Minns.
Last month, Archbishop Williams attempted to placate the warring factions by announcing that neither Bishop Gene Robinson, the homosexual American bishop, nor Bishop Minns would be invited to next year's Lambeth Conference, the 10-yearly gathering of all the world's bishops in Canterbury. But conservative leaders are furious that he invited the rest of the liberal leadership of the American Episcopal Church.