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GAFCON Primates ready to Reveal Missionary Bishop to U.K.

GAFCON Primates ready to Reveal Missionary Bishop to U.K.

By David W. Virtue, DD
June 4, 2017

In a move that outflanks and will enrage Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury, some 20 plus orthodox Anglican Archbishops, mostly from the Global South, will appoint a missionary bishop to oversee churches in the U.K. on June 8, the day the Scottish Episcopal Church will vote to redefine marriage to include homosexual unions.

Emboldened by revisionist attempts to change the ontology of marriage, the GAFCON Primates last month revealed plans to post a bishop to minister to those who believe they have become disenfranchised by liberal trends in the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church.

During their meeting, the primates said they were responding to the voice of faithful Anglicans in some parts of the Global North who are in need of biblically faithful episcopal leadership.

Archbishop peter Jensen, GAFCON General Secretary, said they pointed to the reality that on 8th June 2017 the Scottish Episcopal Church is likely to formalize their rejection of Jesus' teaching on marriage. "If this were to happen, faithful Anglicans in Scotland will need appropriate pastoral care. In addition, within England there are churches that have, for reasons of conscience, been planted outside of the Church of England by the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE). These churches are growing, and are in need of episcopal leadership. Therefore, we have decided to consecrate a missionary bishop who will be tasked with providing episcopal leadership for those who are outside the structures of any Anglican province, especially in Europe."

Of particular concern is the issue of homosexual marriage embraced by the US Episcopal church and now possibly the Scottish Episcopal Church. The Church of England has, so far, rejected any change to its canons on marriage, but homosexual marriage has been accepted with a nod and a wink in dioceses by a number of clerics who are presently living in homosexual relationships. Several have obtained civil marriage licenses.

This new action comes hard on the heels of the ordination to the episcopacy of the Rev. Jonathan Pryke of Jesmond parish in North East England by the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa.

A full court press has been invited to the announcement being made this Thursday, on the same day the Scottish Episcopal Church votes to define marriage to include homosexual unions.

The chosen candidate will be accompanied by a GAFCON primate and representatives of those who will break fellowship with the SEC by the synod decision.

There has been no word from Lambeth palace on this boundary crossing into England's ecclesiastical life, but VOL has learned that leaders are huddled in the palace trying to figure out a strategy to deal with this incursion. It is expected that the Anglican Consultative Council, a harsh critic of GAFCON, will also weigh in on this action, and a statement is also expected from the Church of England's House of Bishops.

UPDATE: There are unconfirmed reports that the the Rev. Canon Andy Lines, Chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference UK Task Force is the choice of bishop.

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