Archbishop: Church in crisis

The head of the Anglican Communion said Sunday that the global fellowship faces “one of the most severe challenges” in its history, and he urged bishops at their once-a-decade Lambeth Conference to do the hard work of finding solutions.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the Anglican family's most immediate need is for “transformed relationships” so they don't break apart over homosexuality and the Bible.

“We all know that we stand in the middle of one of the most severe challenges to have faced the Anglican family in its history,” he said in an address to the 650 bishops at the assembly.

But he said the world fellowship has survived other crises in its centuries-long history, and he has faith that church leaders can overcome the most recent troubles.

The work of the meeting, which runs through Aug. 3, is complicated by a boycott. About one-quarter of the invited bishops – theological conservatives mostly from Africa – stayed away from the conference because Williams invited bishops from the United States and elsewhere who accept gay relationships. Associated Press