Nigerian Anglicans Break With Canterbury

New York, USA - Angry over other Anglican churches' tolerance of homosexuality, the Anglican Church of Nigeria has deleted from its Constitution all references to "the See of Canterbury," the British "mother" church that links Anglican churches worldwide into a global communion.

The step further institutionalizes the division over homosexuality between Anglican churches in most of the developing world and those in Britain, Canada and the United States.

The Constitution of the Nigerian church, led by Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, above, says it will now be in communion only with churches that "maintain the historic faith, doctrine, sacrament and discipline."

The Nigerians said the change would allow them to reach across geographic boundaries and provide "worshiping refuge to thousands in the U.S.A." who have refused to accept the 2003 decision of the Episcopal Church USA to ordain an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.