Agreement to impose sanctions against liberal US church and issue a statement in support of ‘traditional doctrine’ of marriage staves off schism.
A permanent split in the global Anglican communion over gay rights has been averted after archbishops overwhelmingly agreed to impose sanctions against the liberal US church and issue a statement in support of the “traditional doctrine” that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
The punitive measures and conservative statement came after four days of “painful” talks in Canterbury aimed at moving the world’s 85 million-strong Anglican fellowship beyond deep divisions over homosexuality between liberals and conservatives.
An agreement, published on Thursday evening, said the US Episcopal church’s acceptance of same-sex marriage represented “a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our provinces on the doctrine of marriage”.
In a passage that dismayed liberal Anglicans, the agreement explicitly added: “The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.”
By Harriet Sherwood