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Wikipedia: Anglican continuing churches
Anglican continuing churches
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Anglican continuing churches are groups in one way or another following the Anglican tradition that have broken with Canterbury or their national Anglican church - most often, with ECUSA- on account of what they view as a failure of orthodoxy.

The current modest prominence of the movement started with the St. Louis Congress in 1977, held in response to ECUSA ordination of women to the priesthood. That congress formulated a theological statement, the Affirmation of St. Louis, which expressed a determination "to continue in the Catholic Faith, Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship and Evangelical Witness of the traditional Anglican Church, doing all things necessary for the continuance of the same."

Before then the major Anglican group in the United States out of communion with Canterbury had been the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC), which had broken with the Protestant Episcopal Church, USA (now known as ECUSA) in 1873 over issues relating to the advance of Anglo-Catholicism. The major group in England had been the Free Church of England, founded in 1844 for similar reasons and now in communion with the REC.

The continuing churches are generally anglocatholic in approach, and their liturgies often (but not always) more "high church" than "low church." Most groups use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer that preceded the prayer book adopted by ECUSA in 1979, although some use other forms. Most groups, as well, remain staunchly committed to orthodox and traditional Anglican faith, teaching & practice, believing that the Episcopal Church has, as an institution, fatally abandoned commitment to Scripture and failed to uphold or defend many basics of Christian theology and ethics.

The principles of the Affirmation of St. Louis provide some basis for unity in the movement, but "continuing" jurisdictions are numerous and some of them often splinter and recombine. Reports put their number at somewhere between 20 and 40, although only a few of these number more than a dozen parishes. Also, not all the groups popularly called "continuing churches" actually emerged from the meeting at St. Louis; the term has become a catch-phrase for non-Episcopal Church Anglican groups as a whole, regardless of their actual origin and outlook. Most of the groups give more specific information about their jurisdictional history on their homepages.

The recent ordination of Gene Robinson as Bishop coadjutor of New Hampshire has given the movement a boost, but also diverted interest toward other structures, in particular The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA). While it has some things in common with the continuing churches, AMiA is a mission under the supervision of the Archbishop of Rwanda and the Archbishop of Southeast Asia, and is thus through them in tenuous communion with Canterbury (although not recognized by the Archbishop of Canturbury himself).

Acting on an earlier promise to settle the issue of the ordination of women, AMiA recently decided against ordaining women to the priesthood. Several who were priested in ECUSA before joining AMiA remain in good standing. In general, Anglo-Catholics favorable to the AMiA have been opposed to the practice while evangelicals (i.e. charismatics) have supported it.

External links

The following is a list of continuing and similar churches, with the approximate number of North American parishes shown in parentheses. [Note that anyone can edit this page to update information or correct errors or omissions simply by clicking on "Edit this page" below. Vandalism or introduction of tendentious material can easily be reversed with a couple of clicks by causing the page to revert to its pre-edit form.]

More information is available from the Anglicans Online "Not In the Communion" page.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
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