London SE1 website team

Primates call on US Church to change its mind

Primates meeting at Lambeth Palace have expressed "profound pain and uncertainty" over the American Church's decision to confirm the election of a priest "in a committed same sex relationship" to the office of a Bishop.

Archbishop of
Canterbury hosting the meeting in the Guard Room (Photo: Jim Rosenthal/Anglican World)

The two-day summit of Anglican archbishops at Lambeth Palace had been called to discuss homosexuality following the American move.

However, it repeated the call by the 1998 Lambeth Conference on the need "to listen to the experience of homosexual persons, and to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ". It also acknowledged the need for ongoing study on questions of human sexuality.

"We must make clear that recent actions in New Westminster and in the Episcopal Church (USA) do not express the mind of our Communion as a whole" concluded the archbishops who added that the decision jeopardises their sacramental fellowship with each other.

The meeting in SE1 has been closely followed around the world. Dean of Southwark Colin Slee appeared live on peak-time Australian television and the Anglican Church in New Zealand produced a special litany for those praying for archbishops in London.

A special service was held at St John's Church in Waterloo to pray for the archbishops. The meeting was also being remembered at Mass in St George's Cathedral where the Pope's Jubilee was being quietly marked. His Holiness visited St George's during his visit to the UK.

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