Q+A: The Anglican Church in North America

Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:10pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - The Anglican Church in North America held its first assembly this week in a Dallas suburb to ratify its constitution and install Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh as its first archbishop.

Following are some questions and answers about the newest arrival on America's large and diverse faith scene.

WHAT IS THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA (ACNA)?

Most of its founding bodies have recently broken ranks with the Episcopal Church -- the main U.S. branch of Anglicanism -- over the issues of gay and women clergy.

Long-standing divisions between liberals and conservatives had already fragmented the Episcopal Church by 2003 when it consecrated Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the first bishop known to be in an openly gay relationship in more than four centuries of Anglican Church history.

Many of the dissident dioceses aligned themselves with conservative archbishops in Africa and South America.

The ACNA says it has united some 100,000 Anglicans in 700 parishes and 28 dioceses in the United States and Canada. The main Episcopal Church, which has more than 2 million members, questions these numbers.

ACNA founding members include the Reformed Episcopal Church, founded in 1873, and two dioceses from Canada.

WHAT DOES IT STAND FOR?   Continued...