Kenya Archbishop Consecrates Conservative U.S. Anglican Leaders

( [email protected] ) Aug 30, 2007 11:46 AM EDT

The Anglican archbishop of Kenya has consecrated two conservative U.S. priests as suffragan bishops to take over the pastoral care of congregations that have broken away from The Episcopal Church in the United States because of its pro-homosexual stance.

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, leader of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), told the the Rev. Canon Bill Atwood and the Rev. Bill Murdoch during Thursday’s service at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi that as a bishop they are to “maintain the Church's discipline, guard her faith and promote her mission in the world.”

Hundreds of Christians, including around 10 primates from the “Global South”, looked on as Atwood and Murdoch pledged their word to “serve the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, to serve clergy and congregations in North America under the Kenyan jurisdiction,” according to Reuters.

The 77 million-member Anglican Communion has been torn over homosexuality ever since The Episcopal Church – the U.S. arm of Anglicanism – consecrated the openly gay V. Gene Robinson as the bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

A number of American clergy and dioceses have since turned to African churches for oversight because they refuse to compromise on biblical teachings regarding the sin of homosexuality.

Speaking the day before his consecration, Murdoch said, “This is a missionary action brought to this point by four years of frustration.”

Earlier this year, the outspoken archbishop of Nigeria, the Most. Rev. Peter Akinola, similarly installed Bishop Martyn Minns of Virginia as the head of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America – the U.S. missionary branch of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Bishops Atwood and Murdoch will now oversee 30 North American congregations that have turned to the ACK for leadership.