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JERUSALEM - Conservative Anglican leaders ended a rebel summit yesterday without formally breaking away from a global Anglican Communion, which they said included churches preaching a "false gospel" of immoral sexual behaviour.
"We cherish our Anglican heritage and the Anglican Communion and have no intention of departing from it," said a statement by the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon), which met in Jerusalem.
But Gafcon said it was launching a "fellowship" and encouraging Gafcon Primates to form a new council of church leaders that would address the "spiritual decline" in the most economically developed nations.
Hundreds of conservative bishops and clergy, many from developing countries, attended the convention amid divisions in the 77-million-strong Communion over issues such as homosexuality and biblical authority.
Gafcon met a month before the Lambeth Conference, the once-in-a-decade Anglican summit hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The conference adopts guidelines for member churches.
Bishops from Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya have said they will boycott the Lambeth Conference.
In its statement, Gafcon accused churches in the West of proclaiming a "a false gospel that undermines the authority of God's Word" and promotes a "variety of sexual preferences and immoral behaviour", including same-sex marriages.
The conservatives, who claim to represent 35 million Anglicans, had been hinting at a split since Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop was consecrated in the US in 2003. - Reuters