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Women's Ordination: A Crack in the Cathedral?

Female bishops outlawed, female priests tacitly allowed at last week's Anglican gathering in Bedford, Texas.

After the Anglican Church in North America's (ACNA) momentous inaugural gathering, the verdict is out on whether the issue of women's ordination will inhibit the budding alliance from moving forward.

Last week more than 800 men and women gathered in Bedford, Texas, to elect an archbishop and ratify a constitution for the ACNA, a new alliance for churches that have left the Episcopal Church. Led by Robert Duncan, bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the ACNA comprises more than 700 theologically conservative churches with about 70,000 parishioners.

There were many central theological beliefs that last week's attendees could agree on in their constitution and canon laws, including the full inspiration of the Bible, the centrality of baptism and Communion to church life, and the authority of the historic church creeds. But for the time being, ACNA leaders have not reached full agreement on female priests. At this time, each jurisdiction is free to decide whether or not to ordain women, but jurisdictions ...

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