The London Times is reporting that the Archbishop of Cantebury, Rowan Williams, is drawing up plans to remove the Episcopal Church – and other nonconforming liberal Anglican bodies – from full membership in the Communion. This is because the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Anglicans, would not repent for electing an openly gay man as Bishop.
Dr Williams is proposing a two-track Anglican Communion, with orthodox churches being accorded full, “constituent” membership and the rebel, pro-gay liberals being consigned to “associate” membership.
All provinces will be offered the chance to sign up to a “covenant” which will set out the traditional, biblical standards on which all full members of the Anglican church can agree.
But it is highly unlikely that churches such as The Episcopal Church in the US, the Anglican churches in Canada and New Zealand and even the Scottish Episcopal Church would be able to commit themselves fully to such a document.
If this continues to move in the direction that it appears to be going, this would be the first evident schism in what I predict will become a worldwide multidenominational split in Christianity unlike anything seen since the institution of slavery challenged the church and it’s understanding of “the authority of scripture” and what it means to be a Christian.