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Anglican Communion
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Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion is a world-wide organisation of Anglican Churches, and refers to all of the Christian churches that share the dogma and doctrine of the Church of England.

There is no single "Anglican Church"; it is better to speak of the Anglican Communion, which consists of national churches in communion with the Church of England. As a result, all rites conducted in one member church are to be recognized by the others. Some of these churches are known as Anglican, others call themselves Episcopalian. The ultimate head of any Anglican church is believed to be Jesus Christ, with his representative taken to be the Primate, head of the church at the national level; but Anglican primates acknowledge the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury as primus inter pares, or "first among equals".

Some churches have entered into full communion with the Anglican Communion are treated as members, despite having non-Anglican origins and traditions.

There are also a number of denominations which are not in communion with the Church of England but consider themselves Anglican in doctrine, known as "continuing churches."

The Archbishop of Canterbury is regarded as a symbolic leadership figure among many Anglican denominations, but does not hold formal authority and cannot be accurately compared to other religious leaders such as the pope.

Recently, disagreement between the differing church views of homosexuality has strained the unity of the communion, as well as their relationships with other Christian denominations; see Anglican views of homosexuality.

"The Episcopal [or Anglican] Church has a long tradition, and over that time has inherited, created, or retained many words that might not be familiar...These special terms, though confusing at first, are part of [the church's] rich heritage."

Efforts have been underway at least since 1966 to effect a reconciliation with the Catholic Church, focusing on theological issues [1] and ways "to further the convergence on authority in the Church. Without agreement in this area we shall not reach the full visible unity to which we are both committed." [1]

Table of contents
1 Churches of the Anglican Communion
2 Churches in full communion
3 Related topic
4 External links

Churches of the Anglican Communion

Churches in full communion

Related topic

External links