GAFCON Primates will not be attending meeting called by Archbishop Welby
By David W. Virtue, DD
January 25, 2017
A meeting of the primates has been called by Archbishop Justin Welby for October, but the general consensus at this point in time is that the GAFCON primates will not attend, a GAFCON primate told VOL.
"I'm trying to consult with the others to see how things are going. The general mood is no," a Primate, who asked not be named, told VOL.
Many of the GAFCON primates felt they got burned and blind-sided by Welby when he called the first such meeting in January in Canterbury and they don't want to get humiliated again. They see no future for more talks with the ABC, especially as American Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be present and the issue of homosexual marriage remains unchanged in The Episcopal Church.
Last January, the Primates' decided that TEC should be removed from any decision making on "issues pertaining to doctrine or polity" for three years. That promise has not been kept.
Another Primate told VOL that the GAFCON primates feel that Justin has failed to follow through the meeting in January 2016. Which is true. He has not. He personally invited Curry to Rome to meet the Pope, even as a group of orthodox primates, bishops and clergy met in Cairo for the 6th Global South Conference. Welby said he could not attend, citing other commitments.
This new meeting will take place in Canterbury Cathedral, from October 2-6 and will be the second time all the leaders of the different Anglican provinces will meet. The first extraordinary meeting took place in January 2016.
Rather than being an official "Primates' meeting" the leaders of the different Anglican provinces will meet "only as Primates of the Communion in 2017", Welby said.
In his letter, Welby also cited what he called "the unfortunate and continued inaccurate comments on the situation over same sex relations in the Church of England".
To date, the Church of England has not approved of homosexual marriage, nor has it officially allowed blessings of same-sex unions, though there are reports that The Church of England is considering plans to turn a blind eye to the sex lives of gay clergy in a bid to avert a growing rift over its treatment of homosexuality.
Under the current system, homosexual members of the clergy are asked to be celibate, change jobs or seek a promotion to become a bishop when they are ordained.
The House of Bishops will discuss proposals to overhaul the system so homosexuals will not be asked about their private lives when they join the church.
TEC Presiding Bishop has told close associates that he will attend the October meeting. ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach told VOL that he has not, to date, received an invitation.
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