By Melanie Nathan, January 15, 2016.
Anglican leaders have barred a liberal US branch from decision-making for allowing same-sex marriage. Anglicans have been divided on the issue since the US Episcopal Church ordained an openly gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003. Now the furor is erupting as marriage for same-sex couples in the United States is more widely accepted in accordance with developed federal and state law.
According to the BBC , “Leaders said the church’s stance was a “fundamental departure” from the faith of the majority in what is the world’s third largest Christian denomination. But Episcopal leaders said the three-year bar, which aims to prevent a formal schism, “will bring real pain”.”
The decision was made at a four-day meeting of 39 Anglican primates in Canterbury – means the Church will be suspended from participating in the life and work of the Anglican communion, the BBC’s religious correspondent Carol Wyatt said.
A statement from the primates at the meeting says that the church should:
“no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity”.
For some Reason the Ugandan representative did not have the stomach for any of it, as more than 100 senior Anglicans had urged the Church of England to repent for “discriminating” against lesbian and gay Christians in an open letter.
However, the Anglican leaders in Canterbury said the Episcopal Church’s approval of gay marriage was “a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching” of the majority of Anglicans.
(released the day before – 14 Jan 2016)
Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together.
The Primates regret that it appears that the text of this agreement has been leaked in advance of their communiqué tomorrow. In order to avoid speculation the document is being released in full. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of all the Primates to continue the life of the Communion with neither victor nor vanquished.
The Communique from the Primates will be released tomorrow.
Questions and further comments will be responded to at a press conference tomorrow at 1500. Full details are available here.
The full text of this particular agreement follows:
- We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.
- Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.
- All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.
- The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.
- In keeping with the consistent position of previous Primates’ meetings such unilateral actions on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity is considered by many of us as a departure from the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with each other in the Anglican Communion.
- Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.
- It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.
- We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ
As for the Ugandan who could not stay the course of the discussion – well here is the Report exactly as it appears in the Ugandan anti-gay Tabloid RED PEPPER – “Homosexuality Protest: Ntagali Walks Out of Canterbury Meeting” – (which I refuse to link to because of their persecutory history of outing of LGBTI Ugandans). However it shows the extent of the intolerance and the immaturity of not being able to sit at the table for a decent discussion. wpould jesus have run away too?
Red Pepper Tabloid: Archbishop of Church of Uganda Rev. Stanley Ntagali on Wednesday walked of meeting of world Anglican leaders in Canterbury, England over the homosexuality issue:
The rifts over homosexuality blew wide open in church in 2003 when the Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the United States, consecrated the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire.
It is this decision that the conservative church leaders including Ntagali have been fighting.
In a press statement released yesterday Ntagali said he was concerned that the process set up for the meeting would not permit them address the unfinished business from the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam.
“On the second day of the gathering, I moved a resolution that asked the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw from the meeting and other Anglican Communion activities until they repented of their decisions that have torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion at its deepest level. They would not agree to this request nor did it appear that the Archbishop of Canterbury and his facilitators would ensure that this matter be substantively addressed in a timely manner,” he said.
Adding; “In accordance with the resolution of our Provincial Assembly, it was, therefore, necessary for me to withdraw from the meeting, which I did at the end of the second day. It seemed that I was being manipulated into participating in a long meeting with the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada without the necessary discipline being upheld. My conscience is at peace.”
Ntagali sounded warnings last week that that he and many other conservative archbishops would walk out of the gathering “if godly order is not restored.”
Over a series of world meetings, leaders of the national churches, called primates, have debated whether they should remain one world fellowship given their differences.
In 2009, Anglican national leaders in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and other church provinces helped create the Anglican Church in North America, as a conservative alternative to the U.S. Episcopal Church.
It seems that Ntagali did not have a clue as to what was really going on. I am going to reserve my further comment – you all be the judge! Or should we still leave that to G-d?
READ THE BBC ARTICLE ABOUT THE METING HERE.