Anglican Church in chaos as 12 primates break away support for gay marriage

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The Church of England has been threatened with a potential breakout after 12 leaders of the church worldwide denounced their support for the head of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Justin Welby.

Archbishop Justin Welby who has been the leader of the global communion of the church by virtue of his position as the Archbishop of Canterbury has supported the change of the church’s change of position on same-sex marriage.

Justin Welby told a group a journalist at the Lambeth Palace earlier this year that he was “joyful” of the change in position, though he said he himself will not participate in blessing same-sex couples who were married legally.

“I will be extremely joyfully celebratory of these new [prayers of blessing but] will not personally use them in order not to compromise that pastoral care,” he told reporters as quoted by The Guardian.

Twelve primates of the Church of England on Monday announced their withdrawal of support and recognition of Justin Welby as the global head of the church. The group which is called the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches said they cannot continue in communion with the people who are promoting false teaching.

“As much as the  GSFA Primates also want to keep the unity of the visible Church and the fabric of the Anglican Communion, our calling to be ‘a holy remnant’ does not allow us be ‘in communion’ with those provinces that have departed from the historic faith and taken the path of false teaching.

“This breaks our hearts and we pray for the revisionist provinces to return to ‘the faith once delivered’ (Jude 3) and to us.

“The GSFA is no longer able to recognise the present Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon & Most Revd Justin Welby, as the “first among equals” Leader of the global Communion. He has sadly led his House of Bishops to make the recommendations that undergirded the General Synod Motion on ‘Living in Love & Faith,’ knowing that they run contrary to the faith & order of the orthodox provinces in the Communion whose people constitute the majority in the global flock.

“We pray that our withdrawal of support for him to lead the whole Communion is received by him as an admonishment in love.”

Meanwhile, Lambeth Palace has responded to the statement by the GSFA. A spokesperson said “We note the statement issued today by some Anglican Primates and we fully appreciate their position. As was reaffirmed in multiple discussions at the ACC in Ghana however, no changes to the formal structures of the Anglican Communion can be made unless they are agreed upon by the Instruments of Communion.

“The deep disagreements that exist across the Anglican Communion on sexuality and marriage are not new. The 42 member Churches of the Anglican Communion are independent and autonomous, but at the same time interdependent. It is a fundamental principle of the Anglican Communion that no province can bind another province, and no Instrument of Communion has any jurisdictional authority over any province.

“In a world of conflict, suffering and uncertainty, we must remember that more unites us than divides us. Despite our differences, we must find ways to continue walking and working together as followers of Jesus Christ to serve those in need. It was clear at this week’s global Anglican gathering in Accra that many Anglicans share this view. It remains the Archbishop’s prayer and his call to Anglicans around the Communion.”

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