Tags: anglican | bishops | church of england | same sex | bless

Bishops Rebuke Church of England Over Same-Sex Blessing

By    |   Monday, 20 February 2023 03:54 PM EST

Conservative Anglican archbishops from around the world rebuked the Church of England for approving the blessing of same-sex relationships.

The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) also said that the Church of England had forfeited its traditional leadership role in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Church of England's national assembly earlier this month voted to let priests bless same-sex marriages and civil partnerships, while continuing to ban church weddings for the same couples.

"The Church of England has chosen to break communion with those provinces who remain faithful to the historic biblical faith," the GSFA archbishops wrote. "This breaks our hearts and we pray for the revisionist provinces to return" to tradition.

The statement also said the archbishops were "no longer able to recognize the present Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. and Right Honorable Justin Welby, as the 'first among equals'" among Anglican bishops worldwide.

A break with the Church of England could threaten the survival of the Anglican Communion, a loose federation whose bishops recognize the Archbishop of Canterbury in England as their spiritual leader.

The full impact of the GSFA statement will depend on how many of the 42 national Anglican churches sign on.

Archbishop Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba of the Church of Nigeria did not sign the statement. The Church of Nigeria is the largest member church in the Anglican Communion with 25 million adherents in 2020, according to the World Christian Database.

After the GSFA announcement, the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, the Right Rev. Anthony Poggo, issued his own statement referring to the elected leaders, called primates: "I have read today's statement by primates of the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans with sadness, but am also grateful for its frankness and candor. The statement raises important questions for our collective consideration."

Poggo added that "the leadership of the Church of England has assured us that they have not changed their doctrine of marriage, nor have they introduced liturgy to bless same-sex relationships," and that the GSFA does not necessarily speak for all Anglican churches.

Over the past 30 years, Anglicans in Africa and other parts of the global South have become increasingly critical of the socially progressive tendency of churches in the West, clashing particularly on LGBT rights, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Some conservative Anglican churches already have broken off relations with churches that espouse liberal teaching and practice on homosexuality, including the Episcopal Church in the U.S.

The 12 conservative archbishops who signed the GSFA statement are elected leaders of their respective national churches, mostly in the global South.

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Conservative Anglican archbishops from around the world rebuked the Church of England for approving the blessing of same-sex relationships.
anglican, bishops, church of england, same sex, bless
Monday, 20 February 2023 03:54 PM
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