An anti-LGBT faction of Anglicans still plans to boycott the Lambeth Conference, despite Archbishop of Canterbury agreeing to ban gay spouses from attending.
GAFCON, a conservative evangelical faction, is planning to boycott the once-in-a-decade global conference for bishops and their spouses, which is set to take place in 2020.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had sought to appease conservatives by banning gay bishops from bringing their spouses to the conference, sparking anger from LGBT-inclusive church groups.
Anti-LGBT bishops still plan to boycott Lambeth Conference, despite Justin Welby’s concessions
However, Premier reports that GAFCON bishops still plan to boycott the meeting despite the concessions, if gay bishops themselves are allowed to attend.
Speaking at a GAFCON meeting in Australia, the chair of the GAFCON Primates Council Archbishop Foley Beach said that the issue is the attendance of gay bishops themselves.
He said: “They’ve changed the discussion to inviting the partners of the gay bishops when the issue is the bishops themselves.
“So, the Lambeth conference is in itself in violation of [doctrine on same-sex relationships] itself by having these bishops in homosexual marriages coming to the conference. So, what are we to do with that?”
“The primates have written a letter to Archbishop Justin and we’ll see how he responds.”
The Anglican Communion faces an increasingly fractious split between LGBT-inclusive and anti-LGBT churches around the world.
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The last Lambeth Conference, which took place in 2008, also faced a boycott by anti-LGBT bishops after a row over gay clergy.
The 2020 Lambeth Conference was originally scheduled for 2018, but was delayed due to the fears of a repeat incident.
‘Inappropriate’ to bring gay spouses to Lambeth Conference, leaders claimed
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby personally contacted several gay bishops to warn them not to bring their spouses ahead of the 2020 conference, as his representatives claimed it “would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited.”
New York Episcopal bishop Mary Glasspool spoke out after Welby warned not to bring her wife and partner of 30 years, Becki Sandler.
Bishop Glasspool said her wife was “shocked, hurt and enraged” by the decision to explicitly exclude her from the conference.
A Canadian Anglican bishop, Kevin Robertson, was also personally contacted by Welby and urged not to bring his husband to the Lambeth Conference.
Speaking at the Anglican Consultative Council in Hong Kong this week, Welby acknowledged the strategy had not gone to plan.
He said: “That is my fault, and my responsibility. And it may be, at the end of time, I will understand that I got that wrong, and I will answer for, it in one respect or another, on the day of judgement.
“But where I handled it badly, which I’m sure it did, for one group or another, I want to apologise to you, because I’ve not helped the Communion in that way… I ask your forgiveness where we made mistakes.”