The Anglican-Episcopalian rift has been complicated by that root of all kinds of evil, the love of money:
The truth is, the Episcopal Church bankrolls much of the Communion’s operations. And a cutoff of that money, while unlikely at this time, could deal the Communion a devastating blow.
The Episcopal Church’s 2.3 million members make up a small fraction of the 77 million members in the Anglican Communion, the world’s third-largest affiliation of Christian churches. Nevertheless, the Episcopal Church finances at least a third of the Communion’s annual operations.
Episcopalians give tens of millions more each year to support aid and development programs in the Communion’s poorer provinces in Africa, Asia and Latin America. At least $18 million annually flows from Episcopal Church headquarters in New York, and millions more are sent directly from American dioceses and parishes that support Anglican churches, schools, clinics and missionaries abroad.
Bishops in some foreign provinces that benefit from Episcopal money are now leading the charge to punish the Episcopal Church or even evict it from the Communion. Some have declared that they will reject money from the Episcopal Church because of its stand on homosexuality.
The Americans insist they have no plans to shut down the money pipeline, but one doubts funds would keep flowing if the Anglicans worldwide severed the communion. The Mainline Meltdown continues.
[Thanks to theosebes reader Wild Bill for the link.]