Following the decision to permit the blessing of same-sex couples in England, a number of Anglican church leaders from around the world operating under the auspices of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches deposed Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby as their leader.
According to Daily Mail, the church leaders declared in a statement that they no longer view Welby as the “head of the worldwide communion” and that this “disqualified” the Church of England from serving as the organization’s “mother church.”
The Church of England’s legislative body, the General Synod, approved a motion earlier in February to permit the blessing of same-sex couples in civil partnerships.
However, the group claimed in a statement made public on Monday that by allowing same-sex blessings, the Church of England was following a false teaching path and going against the historical biblical faith. They added that this action “breaks our hearts.”
According to the group, which claims to represent 75% of Anglicans worldwide, the Archbishop “unfortunately led his House of Bishops to make the proposals (for blessing gay couples), knowing that they run contrary to the faith and order of the orthodox provinces in the communion.”
“We pray that our withdrawal of support for him (Welby) to lead the whole Communion is received by him as an admonishment in love,” they stated.
The decision by a group of 12 Anglican archbishops to depose the senior priest runs counter to more than 150 years of tradition, which has seen the Archbishop of Canterbury regarded as the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion since its inception in 1867.