(Reuters Life!) - A quarter of the world's Anglican bishops boycotted on Wednesday a once-in-a- decade gathering of church leaders in a row over gay clergy.
Church officials said that 230 of the 880 bishops in the Anglican worldwide communion were staying away from the Lambeth conference being staged in the English cathedral city of Canterbury, spiritual home of the deeply divided church.
Bishops from Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, who boast some of the fastest-expanding congregations in the Anglican church, were among those who pledged to snub the conference.
Liberal and conservative clergy have been brought to the brink of schism over the ordination in 2003 of Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, the first openly gay bishop in the church's 450-year history.
Conservative Anglican leaders staged their own conference in Jerusalem last month at which they pledged to form a council of bishops to provide an alternative to churches who they say are preaching a "false gospel" of sexual immorality.
The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) said member churches would continue sponsoring breakaway conservative parishes in the liberal western member countries and called for a separate conservative province in North America....
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