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Archbishop of Canterbury says Spouses of Homosexual bishops not welcome to Lambeth 2020

Archbishop of Canterbury says Spouses of Homosexual bishops not welcome to Lambeth 2020

By David W. Virtue, DD
February 15, 2019

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, threatened by calls for orthodox Anglican bishops not to attend Lambeth 2020, has backed down and says he has written a letter to several homosexual bishops saying they cannot bring their spouses to Lambeth next year.

"I need to clarify a misunderstanding that has arisen. Invitations have been sent to every active bishop. That is how it should be -- we are recognizing that all those consecrated into the office of bishop should be able to attend. But the invitation process has also needed to take account of the Anglican Communion's position on marriage which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman. That is the position as set out in Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. Given this, it would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference."

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he had a series of private conversations by phone and by exchanges of letters with the few individuals to whom this applies.

This would apply to the new bishop of Maine, Thomas J. Brown; Mary Glasspool, assistant bishop in the Diocese of New York and Kevin Robertson, the new Anglican Bishop of Toronto and a Church of England Bishop Nicholas Chamberlain, Bishop of Gratham in the Diocese of Lincoln, a sitting bishop who is in a partnered relationship.

"He has now moved the goal-posts. It's not that homosexual bishops aren't invited ----- now it's their spouses not being invited!" ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach told VOL. Beach himself does not expect an invitation, as the ACNA is not recognized by the Anglican Consultative Council.

The exclusion only applies to their “spouses”! And only cites the part of Lambeth 1.10 that applies to marriage, not Holy orders. It’s an empty give away, said American Anglican Council President and CEO Canon Phil Ashey.

The new General Secretary of GAFCON, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Kwashi of Jos, sent out an e-mail encouraging bishops not to attend because GAFCON leaders were told that same-sex spouses WERE going to be invited; that was also the position held by Anglican Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, Josiah Idowu-Fearon.

Clearly stung by criticism from an archbishop of the most populous province in the Anglican Communion -- Nigeria - Welby has walked back his invitation. "They are walking it back because of pushback from GAFCON," an ACNA bishop with global Anglican connections told VOL. Welby has derogatorily described GAFCON as a "ginger group". Dr. Rowan Williams, under pressure from orthodox bishops, refused to allow New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson to attend Lambeth '98 and faced cries of homophobia.

The Archbishop of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh and GAFCON chairman, recently wrote that the Lambeth Conference is an obstacle to the Gospel and warned Anglican bishops against attending the 2020 Lambeth Conference as currently constituted.

"The Lambeth Conference of 2020 is an obstacle to the gospel because it embraces teaching and a pattern of life which are profoundly at odds with the biblical witness and apostolic Christianity through the ages, he wrote.

Writing in his February letter to GAFCON followers who make up more than 80% of the Anglican Communion, the chairman said the Church is prey to "fierce wolves". St. Paul warns the Ephesian elders to beware of those who arise from within the Church and speak "twisted things".

CORRECTION: There is a fourth bishop in a homosexual partnered relationship which we have learned about. He is Bishop Nicholas Chamberlain, Bishop of Gratham. We have corrected the story.


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