With great sorrow at the recent decision of the Church of England’s General Synod to legitimise and incorporate into the Church’s liturgy the blessing of same sex unions, ten Primates of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA)[i] met virtually on 13 Feb 2023 under the chairmanship of Archbishop Justin Badi (Chairman of GSFA & Primate of South Sudan) to discuss our response.
The panel of Primates agreed on the following resolutions which it now commends to the orthodox[ii]provinces and dioceses who are part of her Fellowship for the respective Primate & Province to consider and deliberate on.
- As the Church of England has departed from the historic faith passed down from the Apostles by this innovation[iii] in the liturgies of the Church and her pastoral practice (contravening her own Canon A5[iv]), she has disqualified herself from leading the Communion as the historic “Mother” Church. Indeed, the Church of England has chosen to break communion with those provinces who remain faithful to the historic biblical faith expressed in the Anglican formularies (the 39 Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal and the Book of Homilies) and applied to the matter of marriage and sexuality in Lambeth Resolution 1.10[v] of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.
- As much as the GSFA Primates also want to keep the unity of the visible Church and the fabric of the Anglican Communion, our calling to be ‘a holy remnant’[vi] does not allow us be “in communion” with those provinces that have departed from the historic faith and taken the path of false teaching. This breaks our hearts and we pray for the revisionist provinces to return to ‘the faith once delivered’ (Jude 3) and to us.
- The GSFA is no longer able to recognise the present Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon & Most Revd Justin Welby, as the “first among equals” Leader of the global Communion. He has sadly led his House of Bishops to make the recommendations that undergirded the General Synod Motion on ‘Living in Love & 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.
The worldwide Anglican Communion as we know it is dead, but it will be reconstituted and emerge stronger than ever. It is simultaneously heartbreaking and infuriating to see a majority group of bishops in the Church of England vote to violate their consecration vows and abandon the historic Faith once and for all time delivered to the saints, the Faith every bishop vows to defend and teach at his consecration. They are apostate and have chosen to drink the koolaid of the 21st century sexual agenda, an agenda that is utterly opposed to the Christian Faith, an agenda that is disordered and cannot bring about human flourishing as the gospel can, precisely because it is disordered. Humans in their foolishness, pride, and folly may kick at the pricks, but that will never produce real peace and flourishing. May God the Father have mercy on the sin-sick souls of these apostate bishops.
That’s the bad news. The Good News is that Jesus Christ is still Lord and in control of God’s good creation, despite appearances to the contrary. Our Lord himself promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail against his Church and so those of us who remain orthodox Anglican Christians continue to live in hope, even as the Church in the West is in a death spiral. I doubt this is much different from the days when the 4th-century heresy of Arianism seemed to prevail. But it didn’t. Neither will this latest enemy of the Faith prevail. And so we take courage, even in the darkest night. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!