A traditionalist Episcopal bishop is offering details on a new rival network of parishes set up in protest of the Episcopal Church USA's endorsement of an openly homosexual bishop. The head of this body of dissenting Episcopalians says although his group is not leaving the American branch of the Anglican Communion, it will continue to expose heresy in the denomination.
Pittsburgh's Bishop Bob Duncan says the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes was established at a November meeting of mainstream Anglican leaders in London, and was formed to spread the truth about the Episcopal Church's approval of V. Gene Robinson, the openly homosexual Bishop of New Hampshire.
"The Episcopal Church this summer told a huge lie," Duncan says, "and we need to say over and over again what holy scripture says, what God expects in terms of His creation and the way He structured families, and the holiness He calls us to in terms of how we live our lives."
The consecration of Robinson has divided Anglicans and other Christians around the world. According to the Associated Press, ECUSA's presiding bishop ignored opposing voices from within the denomination and from around the World Anglican Communion and proceeded to take part in the November 2 consecration ceremony, consequently alienating traditional Episcopalians, many of whom refuse to recognize Robinson as a bishop.
Many traditionalists have since begun severing ties to the ECUSA and its leaders, and the church's relations with the Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Third World Anglican churches have also been damaged.
The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes is intended to rally orthodox members of the Episcopal Church who believe what holy scripture says and what Christians have said through the ages about homosexuality. But Bishop Duncan says in some cases conservative members of the denomination are being persecuted for upholding biblical truth.
According to Duncan, the network will also be bringing pressure to bear on the Episcopal Church. The group will be exerting "pressure from our ecumenical friends, from the international Anglican Communion throughout the world, and pressure from us being united to bring the Episcopal Church back from this disastrous decision," he says.
The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes will be holding its charter meeting in Plano, Texas, on January 19 and 20.
Another ECUSA Controversy
Meanwhile, as if the ordination of Robinson were not causing enough of a storm, another Episcopal clergyman has stirred controversy among church members with his recent and widely publicized remarks affirming Islamic beliefs from the pulpit.
The latest burst of outrage in the denomination involves Bishop John Chane and his reported upholding of Muslim teaching during his Christmas sermon at the Washington National Cathedral. In a nationally televised service, Chane asked, "What was God thinking when the angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the sacred Quran to the Prophet Muhammad?"
The AP quotes Episcopal conservative David Virtue, who suggests that God is thinking Bishop Chane should be tossed out of his job "for talking rubbish."
Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes (http://www.anglicancommuniondioceses.org)
© 2003 Agape Press