Orthodox bishops at the Lambeth Conference will abstain from receiving Holy Communion during services which same-sex partners of bishops are invited to attend. During a press conference, members of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GFSA) announced they will remain seated in protest of last minute changes to a motion which included a text reaffirming the Christian orthodox view of sexuality. Earlier, the motion was amended to include the plurality of views on the issue across Anglican provinces, including those which already bless same-sex marriage. But, unhappy with the decision, members of GFSA have also announced they will be tabling their own motion affirming an Orthodox view on marriage. They argued that while there’s a desire to ‘walk together’ as a Communion, they cannot do so “until provinces which have gone against Scripture repent and return to orthodoxy”.
For them the issue “is not just about sex and marriage, but fundamentally about the authority of the Bible which Anglicans believe to be central to faith and order”. They want it to be recognised as the Anglican Communion’s ‘official teaching’ on marriage and sexuality. Archbishop Justin Badi, Chairman of the GSFA and Archbishop of South Sudan said: “Sadly, some provinces are adapting the teaching of the Church to try to appear relevant, and to make discipleship easier as a way of reversing fast-declining church attendance. “But as disciples, we are not told in Scripture to mould Jesus into ‘our’ image, but to be continually transformed by the Spirit into ‘His’ image”. Orthodox bishops represent a 75 per cent of the Anglican Communion, the majority of Anglicans across the world.
Archbishop Badi continued: “For too long the Anglican Communion has been driven by the views of the West. “We often feel that our voice is not listened to, or respected. We invite each primate and bishop to sign up to our resolution, and then with the majority of the Communion in favour, for the Instruments of the Anglican Communion to find ways to put faith and order back at the heart of what the Archbishop of Canterbury describes as ‘walking together’.” Their ‘Lambeth Resolution’ will be presented before the Conference before being submitting to bishops. At least 200 bishops are expected to sign in support.
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