Religion News Service summarizes the current struggle within the Anglican Mission in America and the difficulty the breakaway church has in maintaining an Anglican identity while drifting farther away from their roots.
For years, leaders of the Anglican Mission and other breakaway Episcopal groups have tried to get the Anglican Communion to recognize them as a legitimate alternative to the Episcopal Church. This latest split shows how difficult that will be, said Jim Naughton, editor of Episcopalcafe.com and a former spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C.
“We don’t know how much staying power they have,” said Naughton.
Naughton also said that the split shows the problem that money plays in the relationship between U.S. church leaders and their African sponsors. Americans have most of the money and they use that money to promote their theological views. That’s the case for both conservatives and liberals, said Naughton.
Dealing with the imbalance of money and power will remain a problem in the future, said the Rev. John McDonald, director of the Stanway Institute for World Mission and Evangelism at the Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa.
“It cannot simply be that Western churches provide funds and African churches then provide the seal of legitimacy or the protective covering of an Anglican province in return,” McDonald said. “It has to be seen as a true partnership.”