The Anglican Church has slapped sanctions on its liberal U.S. branch for supporting same-sex marriage, a move that averted a formal schism in the world’s third-largest Christian denomination but left deep divisions unresolved.
The Anglican communion, which counts some 85 million members in 165 countries, has been in crisis since 2003 because of arguments over sexuality and gender between liberal churches in the West and their conservative counterparts, mostly in Africa.
Following four days of closed-door talks, the heads of the world’s 38 Anglican provinces said the liberal U.S. Episcopal Church would be barred for three years from taking part in decision-making on doctrine or governance.
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry told his peers at the talks that he remained “committed to ‘walking together’ with you as fellow primates in the Anglican family”, but lamented their decision.
“For fellow disciples of Jesus in our church who are gay and lesbian, this will bring more pain,” he told the gathering in remarks reported by an Episcopal news website.
The sanctions also prevent the U.S. church from speaking on behalf of Anglicans on interfaith or ecumenical bodies and bar it from certain committees for three years.
There were widespread fears of a schism ahead of the talks, which were convened by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of Anglicans.
One of the most outspoken conservatives, Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali, proposed at the talks that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, which is considering also approving same-sex marriage, should withdraw from communion activities until they repent.
The proposal was rejected, and Ntagali left the meeting early, although he stopped short of quitting the communion.
The slap on the wrist for the Episcopals appeared to satisfy no one, with gay and lesbian Anglicans expressing outrage while conservatives said the sanctions did not go far enough.
“Unity shown by the primates here is going to be costly because we have deep differences,” Welby told a news conference.
Referring to the treatment of gay and lesbian Anglicans, Welby apologized personally “for the hurt and pain in the past and present that the Church has caused”.
A conservative Anglican body, GAFCON, which many think could form the basis of a breakaway communion in any schism, said it doubted the effectiveness of the sanctions because the Church had so far been “unable to guard biblical truth and restore godly order”.
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which includes many conservatives who broke away from the Episcopal Church over its approach to marriage, said the sanctions were “a good step back in the right direction” but insufficient.
“The sanctions are strong, but they are not strong enough, and to my deep disappointment, they didn’t include the Anglican Church of Canada as they should,” wrote the head of ACNA, Archbishop Foley Beach, who attended the talks.
But at Canterbury Cathedral, the mother church of Anglicans where the talks took place, Welby was confronted by a group of about 40 angry gay and lesbian Anglicans from African countries outside the cathedral shortly before his news conference.
They were bearing placards with slogans such as “Anglican Archbigots, shame on you” and “Homosexuality is African, homophobia is not”.
A Nigerian gay Anglican who gave only his first name, Chijioke, said religious leaders on the continent should be focusing on issues such as bad government and poverty rather than obsessing about issues of sexual orientation.
“We have been made to feel that we are nobody. That is not what the Church should do. God created all of us,” he told Reuters just outside the cathedral.
Chris Bryant, a gay former Anglican priest who is a member of the British parliament for the opposition Labour Party, said on Twitter: “I’ve finally given up on the Anglican church today after its love-empty decision on sexuality. One day it will seem as wrong as supporting slavery.”
The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches are the largest Christian denominations.
Source: Anglicans penalize U.S. church over gay marriage to avoid schism | Reuters
Trending News on PVDN
- Popocatépetl Volcano Exhibits Increased Activity; Yellow Phase 3 Alert Continues PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - In the past 24 hours, heightened activity was recorded from Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano, with an alarming 315 exhalations detected, accompanied by water vapor, other volcanic gases, and ash, according to the Scientific Advisory Committee (CCA) of the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC). Monitoring systems in place around the active stratovolcano also…
- Shocking Case of Animal Abuse in Mexico: Man Throws Dog into Boiling Fry Oil PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - A disturbing incident of animal abuse has sent shockwaves throughout Mexico, as a man allegedly threw a dog into a pot of boiling oil, resulting in the animal's tragic death. Authorities have detained the suspect for the assault on the dog and have issued an additional arrest warrant on charges of…
- 45 Bags of Human Remains Discovered in Jalisco PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - A chilling discovery of 45 bags filled with human remains in a deep ravine in the El Mirador del Bosque neighborhood of Zapopan has escalated the search for seven missing youths last seen at a local call center. The Jalisco Attorney General's Office confirmed late Wednesday that the gruesome discovery was…
- Two More Puerto Vallarta Beaches Are Awarded Blue Flags Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) - In the upcoming 2023-2024 season, Puerto Vallarta is set to host six beaches awarded with the Blue Flag accreditation, an esteemed international recognition for high environmental and quality standards. The Blue Flag committee has reconfirmed the status for four previously certified beaches while conferring this prestigious title to two new beaches…
- ‘Kingdoms of Mexico’ Distinction Launches to Boost Tourist Destinations With European Influences Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) - Miguel Torruco Marqués, the head of the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur), introduced the new 'Kingdoms of Mexico' distinction, a major initiative designed to enhance the appeal of Mexico's tourist communities on an international level. The announcement came during a presentation attended by the governors of Tlaxcala, Lorena Cuéllar Cisneros; Baja California,…
- SEAPAL Vallarta Launches New Vallarta II Tank to Reinforce Drinking Water Supply PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - SEAPAL Vallarta, the local water management authority, announced the successful integration and activation of the new Vallarta II Tank to its drinking water distribution system on Tuesday, May 30. This strategic addition is expected to enhance the availability of water in Vallarta homes, a pressing issue in the wake of the…
- Investigation Continues Following Discovery of Skeletal Remains in Puerto Vallarta PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) – The mystery surrounding the discovery of skeletal remains in a rural area of Puerto Vallarta is yet to be resolved, according to State Prosecutor Luis Joaquín Méndez Ruiz. On his visit to Puerto Vallarta to participate in the Navy Day celebrations, the state prosecutor insisted the discovery is not a clandestine…
- The Connection Between the Jalisco Cartel, Missing Employees at Call Center, 45 Bags of Body Parts, Timeshare Scams, and American Tourists PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - More than a week after the initial disappearance of eight young workers at a call center in Zapopan, Jalisco, the case continues to be shrouded in mystery, leaving families distraught and demanding answers. The Jalisco Prosecutor's Office has made little progress in the investigation, according to the relatives of the missing…
- Puerto Vallarta Celebrates 105 Years as Municipality, 55 as City with Grand Anniversary Celebration PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - Puerto Vallarta, one of the nation's favorite tourist destinations, celebrated the 105th anniversary of its elevation to a municipality and its 55th year as a city with a solemn session held in the central courtyard of the city's presidency. Presiding over the commemorative event was Mayor, Professor Luis Alberto Michel Rodríguez,…
- It’s Getting a Little More Expensive for Americans Living in Mexico, Peso Surges to Over Seven-Year High Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) - The Mexican peso reached its highest level in more than seven years on Friday, June 2, driven by positive employment data from the United States. The country's stock market also experienced a notable rise as fears of a recession in the US diminished. At the close of trading, the peso was…