Abp Welby’s Response to Being Rejected by Global South Bishops

Archbishop Welby’s Response to Being Rejected by Global South Bishops

Archbishop Welby’s response to being rejected as primus inter pares by the Provinces of the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans was issued through the Lambeth Press Office.

The statement ignored the joint position of the GSFA and GAFCON Primates that they are “not walking together” with Canterbury over the matter of blessing same-sex civil marriages.

The statement follows.

“At last week’s meeting of the (ACC) in Ghana, there was widespread support for working together patiently and constructively to review the Instruments of Communion, so that our differences and disagreements can be held together in unity and fellowship. The Archbishop is in regular contact with his fellow Primates and looks forward to discussing this and other matters with them over the coming period.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury commented last week at the ACC in Ghana that these structures are always able to change with the times.

“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.”

Response to the actions taken by the last meeting of the General Synod still continue unabated.  Speculation is rife that the Archbishop will soon resign but it is most unlikely for him to do so before the Coronation of King Charles on 6 May.

Bishop Anthony Poggo, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion also released a statement. It began, “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 candour. The statement raises important questions for our collective consideration. 

“The Primates who signed the statement have been consistently clear in upholding the traditional Christian doctrine that the proper place for sexual intimacy is within marriage, and that marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman. These doctrines are held by the vast majority of Anglicans around the world.”

Poggo’s statement went on to attempt to spin the results of the General Synod by pointing out that the official positions of the Church of England have not been changed.  He failed to address the reality that the Formularies of the Church make no distinction between the validity of a wedding held in a church building or the local Registrar’s Office. His address did not answer the objections raised by the GSFA or in particular those raised by Archbishop Ndukuba of Nigeria or Archbishop Kaziimba of Uganda.