Some predict more Episcopalians will peel away from the American church unless American bishops back off the gay issues this weekend.
And it does not appear the bishops will do that, said David Hein, chairman of the religion department at Hood College in Maryland and author of a book on the history of Episcopalians in the U.S.
“As far as I can tell, they will take themselves out of Anglican communion and be, in effect, one very tiny American sect (Episcopalians are about 2.3 million of 77 million Anglicans worldwide.) And they will probably drift farther and farther to the left without the ballast of the Anglican communion,” Hein said.
Bishop J. Neil Alexander of Georgia remained hopeful Episcopalians will be able to avoid a break in fellowship.
“I am always hopeful. In the last year I have attended several Anglican Communion meetings with representation from all around the world. There is a strong web of relationships…that transcend the disagreements of the present time.
“I believe that ultimately those relationships will continue to flourish and that we are already well on the way to keeping the focus of our life together on mission and ministry in the name of Jesus and for the sake of the world,” Alexander said in an e-mail to the paper.