Archbishop of Canterbury ‘risks break-up of Anglican community’ over gay marriage

Jan 24, 2023 by

By Gabriella Swerling,, Daily Telegraph:

Conservative bishops worldwide warn of split within the Communion if General Synod votes to bless same-sex unions.

The Archbishop of Canterbury risks breaking up the Anglican Communion over same-sex marriage blessings that “rewrite God’s law”, conservative bishops from around the world have warned.

The Most Rev Justin Welby, the head of both the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion, has sparked division between the two organisations.

The row came after Church of England bishops rejected calls to conduct same-sex marriages and instead announced proposals to bless those who have already had civil marriage or partnership ceremonies. The recommendations will be debated at the General Synod, the Church’s legislative body, from Feb 6 to 9.

The proposals have prompted anger from the conservative Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), which represents churches on every continent.

It has criticised the Archbishop, warning that if the General Synod vote to bless same-sex marriages, the Church of England will violate the “clear and canonical teaching of the Bible”, which would “inevitably lead to a re-configuration and a restructuring of the communion as we currently know it”.

The Most Rev Justin Badi Arama, Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and the GSFA chairman, described the blessings as “a farcical compromise” and said:“If Synod votes to back the bishops’ recommendations, then it is foreseeable that several Global South provinces will also be in impaired communion with the Church of England.”

His comments came as the Most Rev Welby prepares to make a historic visit to South Sudan with Pope Francis and Rev Iain Greenshields, the moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, next week.

Lambeth Palace confirmed on Tuesday that he would be hosted by the Primate of South Sudan during the trip and “looks forward to spending time with Archbishop Badi and the leaders and congregations of the Anglican Church of South Sudan”.

The Rev Paul Eddy, a spokesman for the GSFA, said that if the Synod voted in favour of the blessings, then the Archbishop of Canterbury would be the first in history “to take the Church of England out of the Anglican Communion – it’s that radical”.

He added: “The Church of England missionaries went across the world planting churches and evangelising. It founded the Anglican Communion as we know it, so he’d be rewriting centuries of history. If Welby goes ahead with this decision, it will lead to the break-off of the Church of England from the Anglican Communion.”

Read full Daily Telegraph report here


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