By John Bingham and Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Telegraph
The Church of England’s opposition to same-sex marriage is facing a major challenge from within after Anglicans in the US approved same-sex blessings in churches.
Bishops in the American Episcopal Church, part of the Anglican Communion, voted overwhelmingly to accept a special liturgy for what is effectively a form of homosexual wedding.
The liberal stance of American Anglicans has proved one of the biggest challenges to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams’s authority during his 10-year tenure.
Its decision nine years ago to consecrate the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, triggered a crisis in the Anglican world, splitting the 77 million-strong Communion into liberal and conservative camps.
He has dedicated much of the last nine years to trying to heal the divisions it caused without success.
When Dr Williams was faced with the same choice over the ordination of Jeffery John as Bishop of Reading he was forced into a bitter u-turn, an episode which came to marr his tenure at Lambeth Palace.
Now the American church has opened up a new challenge to the authority of the Archbishop as titular head of the Anglican Communion by accepting same-sex blessing services.
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