Global South Anglicans Reconsider Communion with Western Counterparts

Anglican leaders in the Global South have been encouraged to reconsider their relationships with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada "until it becomes clear that there is genuine repentance."

"Some of our Provinces are already in a state of broken and impaired Communion with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada. Their continued refusal to honor the many requests made of them ... have brought discredit to our witness," said some 130 Anglicans from 20 provinces at the conclusion of the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore.

They condemned the two western bodies for their continued "defiance" of Scripture and the rest of the global Anglican Communion with their pro-gay actions.

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Specifically, the Global South leaders pointed to the upcoming consecration of the Rev. Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, in Los Angeles. Despite calls by Anglican leaders worldwide to practice gracious restraint in regards to the ordination of partnered gays, Glasspool was confirmed to become the second openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church. Her ordination is scheduled for May.

The consecration of the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, had heightened controversy in the global church body in 2003.

Several Episcopal bishops in the U.S. and Anglican bishops in Canada have also approved the blessing of same-sex unions in recent years.

"[W]e continue to grieve over the life of The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada and all those churches that have rejected the Way of the Lord as expressed in Holy Scripture," the Global South leaders stated.

"These churches continue in their defiance as they set themselves on a course that contradicts the plain teaching of the Holy Scriptures on matters so fundamental that they affect the very salvation of those involved."

They further denounced the western church bodies for continuing to claim the name Anglican while pursuing "an agenda of their own desire in opposition to historic norms of faith, teaching and practice."

Anglicans in the Global South have vowed not to remain silent on the controversial actions.

Members of the Anglican Communion, which is the third largest Christian body in the world with 77 million members, are currently considering adopting a document, called the Anglican Covenant, aimed at preventing a split in the communion.

Global South leaders are still reviewing the document and have, meanwhile, suggested the covenant include a requirement that all who sign on to it must be in compliance with Lambeth 1.10, the 1998 resolution that rejects homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.

The Fourth Anglican South to South Encounter took place April 19-23. In addition to addressing the brokenness of the church body, participants also sought ways to strengthen missions.

They lamented that over the last 20 years they have been distracted by conflicts and controversies that kept them from effectively fulfilling the Great Commission. They agreed to declare the next 10 years a Decade of Mission and Networking, which would include furthering mutual collaboration, harnessing of the potential of professionals and youth, and developing intentional mission strategies for overlooked communities.

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