jQuery Slider

You are here

"If Church of England follows Episcopal Church on Same Sex Marriage it will tear the Communion apart" -- Bishop Keith Sinclair

"If Church of England follows Episcopal Church on Same Sex Marriage it will tear the Communion apart" -- Bishop Keith Sinclair
CEEC Bishop says CofE is proposing to do what the Primates said in 2003 should not be done

By David W. Virtue in Kigali
April 18, 2023

The fabric of the Anglican Communion will be torn at its deepest level if the Church of England on the recommendation of the House of Bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury do what the Primates said in 2003 should not be done.

Bishop Keith Sinclair, National Director of the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) told 1300 delegates to GAFCON IV that the life of the Anglican Communion and its future will be put in jeopardy.

Referencing the consecration of Gene Robinson an avowed homosexual to the episcopacy, Sinclair said, "We appear to be in a place where the Church of England is now proposing to do that."

"However, if realistic and visionary ways cannot be agreed to meet the levels of disagreement at present or to reach consensus on structures for encouraging greater understanding and communion in future it is doubtful if the Anglican Communion can continue in its present form."

"Should the call to halt and find ways of continuing in our present communion not be heeded, then we shall have to begin to learn to walk apart."

Sinclair said these words were not heeded; the moral authority of Resolution 1:10 passed at Lambeth '98 was not recognized and the tear worsened.

"What I find extraordinary is that since that time, nearly 20 years ago now, and with another Lambeth Conference in view (even delayed by the Pandemic) there has not been another attempt made to repair the tear, no intra Provincial commissions to find a way forward even if it means finding a way to walk apart.

"Rather after the Primates Meeting in 2016 the Archbishop of Canterbury appealed to "good disagreement" which seemed to mean that both these convictions about the "teaching of scripture" could be permitted within the Anglican Communion without any decision being made between them. This view became explicit during the Lambeth Conference 2022.

Sinclair said that rather than face this fundamental disagreement and the implications for fellowship, mission, and discipline the differences are simply described as if both are possible in some hope that we can keep together in an institution that has got some shared history but no common mind.

"As the Lambeth Conference of 1920 had said, the churches are not free to deny the truth or to ignore the fellowship. The idea that we simply choose between a menu of options according to our cultural heritage or experience is NOT what the scripture teaches. It is NOT what the Church has anywhere recognized right up to the modern period."

Sinclair said that what we have seen over the last years is the unfolding of a tragedy. "When Archbishop Peter Jensen described his reaction to reading the proposals of the English Bishops he writes "I felt as though I could weep. It was as if I had been cut to the heart."

"This was my own reaction, and I want to tell you it is the reaction of hundreds of clergy and lay people across England as well as across the world. We are in grief and mourning too. We are praying for a change of heart; we are pressing for a settlement of visible differentiation to make it clear we cannot walk together on a matter which is contrary to the teaching of scripture."


Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top