A group of Anglican Church leaders around the world have ousted the Archbishop of Canterbury as their head following the decision to allow the blessing of same-sex couples in England.
The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) has said in a statement that it no longer considers Justin Welby to be ‘leader of the global communion’, and it has ‘disqualified’ the Church of England from being its ‘mother church’.
According to a statement released on Monday, February 20th, the GSFA accused the Church of England of ‘taking the path of false teaching’ and going against ‘the historical biblical faith’ by allowing same-sex blessings, adding: ‘This breaks our hearts.’
They said the Church of England has departed from the historic faith; she has disqualified herself from leading the Communion as the historic “Mother” Church.
The GSFA noted in the statement that it is no longer able to recognize the present Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon and Most Revd Justin Welby, as the “first among equals” Leader of the global Communion.
Referring to Mr Welby, they said: ‘He has sadly led his House of Bishops to make the recommendations that undergirded the General Synod Motion on ‘Living in Love and Faith,’ knowing that they run contrary to the faith & order of the orthodox provinces in the Communion whose people constitute the majority in the global flock.
“We pray that our withdrawal of support for him to lead the whole Communion is received by him as an admonishment in love.’ He has sadly led his House of Bishops to make the recommendations that undergird the General Synod, knowing that they run contrary to the faith and order of the orthodox provinces in the Communion whose people constitute the majority in the global flock’ the statement further read.
The GSFA added that this has caused a ‘leadership crisis’ and it is now working to’re-set the communion’.
The GSFA said it speaks for 75% of Anglicans around the world, officially representing 25 member provinces – mainly in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The 12 signatories include the GSFA’s chair, Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba of Uganda, along with the archbishops of South Sudan, the DR Congo, Chile, Myanmar, Bangladesh,Brazil, Alexandria and Melanesia.
The GSFA is currently composed of 14 Provinces from a larger grouping of 25 Global South provinces.
Earlier in February, Mr Welby said that in the Church of England, archbishops do not chair the General Synod or organise its debates, and that ‘many’ members had ‘dismissed’ his concerns about recent reforms.
“We note the statement issued today by some Anglican Primates and we fully appreciate their position.” He said.
Since its formation in 1867, the incumbent Archbishop of Canterbury has taken the role of spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, a global fellowship of 42 Anglican churches.