Archbishop of Canterbury to Meet Anglican Leaders on Split from Liberal Church

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is to discuss a formal split in the worldwide Anglican Communion with Conservative Anglican leaders in a confidential meeting scheduled for later in the month.

The outspoken Archbishop Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, will be among the group of conservative archbishops who will meet Dr Williams at Lambeth Palace to consider the creation of a parallel body for conservatives in America, reports The Telegraph.

The latest development in the crisis over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion follows the release of the Kigali communiqué by Global South leaders in Africa last month.

The communiqué proposed "a separate ecclesiastical structure" to accommodate opponents of the pro-homosexuality leadership of the Episcopal Church in the US.

Seven dioceses and scores of parishes in the US Episcopal Church have rejected their liberal leadership and sought oversight from a sympathetic archbishop abroad.

Under the Global South proposals, American conservatives would switch their allegiances from their Presiding Bishop-Elect, the Rt Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori, to a leader from the Global South.

Dr Williams has become increasingly sympathetic with conservative Anglicans as the US Church continues unapologetically on its liberal path - to the dismay of most of the Anglican Communion which continues to reject homosexuality as incompatible with Scripture.

The US Church almost brought the worldwide Anglican Communion to the point of schism after it consecrated its first actively homosexual bishop in 2003.

Dr Williams is keen to find a compromise between liberals and conservatives in the Church before next February's gathering of all the primates.

If he fails to find such a compromise, conservatives are likely to insist that the Archbishop of Canterbury initiate a formal split - a move sure to spark fury among liberals who will perceive the move as one designed to force them out of the Church.