Nigerian church cuts ties with Liverpool over ‘false teachings’ on LGBT equality
A Diocese of Nigeria’s Anglican church has cut ties with the English region of Liverpool over gay rights.
The global Anglican Communion narrowly avoided collapse earlier this year when hardline African churches threatened a walk-out in objection to pro-gay Western churches.
A compromise saw the US Episcopal Church ‘punished’ by the Archbishop of Canterbury for affirming same-sex relationships in a bid to keep the alliance together – angering supporters of LGBT equality.
However, there were further signs of disintegration this week, as the Diocese of Akure, Nigeria decided to cut ties with the UK Diocese of Liverpool.
The decision came after a Virginian Episcopal Bishop, the Rt Revd Susan Goff, was named an honorary bishop in Liverpool.
The move angered the Nigerian Bishop of Akure, who said the decision “crosses a line” because Goff is “in favour of blessing same sex unions”.
Christian Today picked up a letter in which Bishop Simeon Borokini wrote: “A line has been crossed in the Church of England itself with the appointment of Bishop Susan Goff, of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, as an Assisting Bishop of Liverpool.
“The false teaching of the American Episcopal Church has been normalised in England and this divisive act has meant that the Church of Nigeria’s Akure Diocese has had no alternative but to end its partnership link with Liverpool Diocese.
“Being aware of the fact that Nigeria does not support same sex marriage, we in Akure Diocese cannot have any link with Liverpool Diocese.”
The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, lamented the news in an open letter of his own.
He wrote: “It seems that this [appointment] has caused the Diocese of Akure, Nigeria, which has been another of our link dioceses, to issue a statement indicating that they no longer wish to be in a link-relationship with Liverpool.
“I regret this. I would prefer to walk together with Akure as well as with Virginia, within the one Communion whose life we share.
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“”I have not yet received formal notification directly from the Bishop of Akure, but as and when I do I shall write to him expressing this regret.
“If our partners choose to close this door, this is a matter of sorrow for us but of course we respect their decision as free partners in a free relationship.”
He added: “[The partnership] provided wonderful opportunities for sharing and mutual learning.”
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