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Associated Press/Photo by Kim Johnson

Exit strategies

News of the Year | Frustration mounts for Anglicans in and outside the United States

Issue: "News of the Year," Dec. 27, 2008

It may be remembered as the year the Episcopalian exodus took hold. On Dec. 3 disaffected church leaders meeting in Wheaton, Ill., formed the Anglican Church of North America with 100,000 members and 700 congregations from four breakaway U.S. dioceses plus other churches. For years the breakaways have fought scriptural deviancy and the ordination of homosexuals within the denomination; and severing of ties accelerated in 2008 as three dioceses-Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, and Quincy, Ill.-followed the lead of San Joaquin, Calif., in seceding from The Episcopal Church.

Frustration also mounted for Anglicans outside of the United States, including theologian J.I. Packer, who in April cited "poisonous liberalism" for his decision to break with the Anglican Church of Canada.

In June, the crisis within the Anglican Communion prompted over 1,100 conservative Anglican delegates from 27 nations to gather in Jerusalem to issue a 14-point Jerusalem Declaration, an orthodox statement outlining the intentions to launch a new Anglican body aimed at reforming the Anglican Communion from within by advocating a more literal interpretation of the Bible and rejecting bishops and churches that proclaim a "false gospel."

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In order to receive official recognition within the Anglican Communion, however, the new province will first need two-thirds approval from the primates before taking its case to the Anglican Consultative Council, which is scheduled to meet next May.

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