Anglicans agree to keep communion intact amid gay marriage controversy

CANTERBURY, England -- Anglican leaders have overwhelmingly decided to stay together at a summit aimed at preventing a split in their fellowship over homosexuality, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said Friday, a day after the group sanctioned the U.S.

See Full Article

Episcopal Church for supporting gay marriage.

Welby, the Anglican spiritual leader, acknowledged the pain that the decision will cause gays and lesbians and apologized for the church's past wrongs against them. But he said a majority of Anglicans consider the position of the U.S. church an unacceptable deviation from doctrine.

"Everyone unanimously indicated that they wanted the churches of the Anglican Communion to walk together," Welby said. "There was no exception ... it was universal and unanimous."

Welby said there had to be "consequences" for the American churches' decision to allow gays to marry.

Episcopalians have been barred from any policy-setting positions in the Anglican Communion for three years -- a decision that avoided a permanent split in the 85 million-member communion, although it dismayed liberal Anglicans.

Divisions were still evident in the shadow of the great cathedral in Canterbury, where demonstrators, many of them from conservative communities in Africa, waved signs and sang, hoping to get Welby's attention and challenge the communion to consider their rights.

Jayne Ozanne, a leading gay rights activist in the church, expressed outrage over the decision, arguing there was little "recognition at the pain this is causing," particularly for those in African communities where homosexuality is harshly punished.

"We are here talking about human beings, real people who are having their lives torn apart," she said.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, head of the Episcopal Church, said in a phone interview that the U.S. church would not roll back its acceptance of gay marriage.

"They heard from me directly that that's not something that we're considering," Curry said of his remarks to the other Anglican leaders. "They basically understand we made our decision, and this is who we are and we're committed to being a house of prayer for all."

He indicated Episcopalians were disappointed, but would work toward building acceptance of same-sex relationships throughout the Anglican fellowship. In this week's meeting, a majority of the Anglican leaders affirmed the teaching that marriage is only the union of a man and a woman.

"We are loyal members of the Anglican Communion, but we need to say we must find a better way," Curry said. "I really believe it's part of our vocation."

Welby will now lead a task force that will try to reconcile conflicting views over sexuality, "with the intention of restoration of relationship" with the Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the United States.

Welby and Curry said there had been no discussion of the specifics of this process or what would have to happen over the next three years for the Episcopalians to be restored to full participation in the global fellowship.

Anglicans are the third-largest grouping of Christians in the world, behind Roman Catholics and the Orthodox.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Myanmar accused of crimes against humanity

    World News CBC News
    Myanmar is committing crimes against humanity in its campaign against Muslim insurgents in Rakhine state, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday, and it called for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions and an arms embargo. Source
  • Fears of Bali volcano eruption sparks leads to exodus of 75,000

    World News CTV News
    BALI, Indonesia - Warnings that a volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali will erupt have sparked an exodus of more than 75,000 people that is likely to continue to swell, the country's disaster agency said Tuesday. Source
  • North Korea lacks ability to attack U.S. planes, experts claim

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Military analysts say North Korea doesn't have the capability or intent to attack U.S. bombers and fighter jets, despite the country's top diplomat saying it has the right do so. Source
  • North Korea appears to bolster defences after flight by U.S. bombers

    World News CBC News
    North Korea appears to have boosted defences on its east coast, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said on Tuesday, after the North said U.S. President Donald Trump had declared war and that it would shoot down U.S. Source
  • Puerto Rico faces water, food shortages after Hurricane Maria

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Supermarkets are gradually re-opening in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. But many customers are going home disappointed as the island struggles to get back to normal. Most food stores and restaurants remain closed. Source
  • Funeral to be held for Tennessee woman killed in church attack

    World News CTV News
    NASHVILLE - A funeral is set for a woman who was shot at a Tennessee church. According to West Harpeth Funeral Home and Crematory, services for 38-year-old Melanie Smith Crow of Smyna, Tennessee, will be held Thursday at the funeral home in Nashville. Source
  • German parties hold first meetings after election

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN - German parties' newly elected parliamentary groups are holding their first meetings after an election that left Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc weakened but still on top. It now faces a complicated task of forming a coalition government and the prospect of robust opposition from both the right and left. Source
  • Shooting attack outside Jerusalem kills three

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM - Israeli police and medical services say an attacker has opened fire at the entrance to a town outside Jerusalem, killing three Israelis and critically wounding a fourth, in one of the deadliest attacks in a two-year spate of violence. Source
  • Kurdish referendum vote latest issue affecting Middle East stability

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO - The Iraqi Kurds' independence referendum could mean further instability in the Middle East, where formal borders have remained in place for decades but recent conflicts have resulted in several de facto partitions. The vote is not binding, and opposition from the international community, as well as Iraq and its neighbours, makes any formal separation unlikely. Source
  • Mexico tallying cost of deadly earthquake

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY -- Mexican government officials are still tallying up the economic losses of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that caused widespread damage in the capital, but for the manager of a downtown restaurant it is already all too clear. Source