Pittsburgh's Robert Duncan heads new Anglican body, seeks to move past culture-war schism
With a promise to leave the "war" in the past, the Rev. Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh on Wednesday became the first archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, established after a break with the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada over the issue of ordaining gays as priests.
The formation of a new Anglican body – the largest-ever breakaway from the Episcopal Church – has torn at congregations across the US and split the Anglican world. The Anglican Church in North America claims 100,000 members, while the Episcopal Church, the US province of the global Anglican Communion, has at least 2.1 million members.
"We've had years of struggle and conflict with other Christian brothers and sisters, but those years are past," said Archbishop Duncan, in a separate statement from the inaugural assembly in Bedford, Texas. "We've come together and recognize there's a crying need across this continent … to be met with the transforming love of Jesus Christ." He set a goal of adding 1,000 new churches in the next five years.