Religion and Philosophy

Friction over LGBTQ issues worsens in global Anglican church

FILE - Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, front row, centre right poses for a photo with bishops from around the world at the University of Kent, during the 15th Lambeth Conference, in Canterbury, England, Friday, July 29, 2022. Friction has been simmering within the global Anglican Communion for many years over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. In 2022, the divisions have widened, as conservative bishops – notably from Africa and Asia – affirmed their opposition to LGBTQ inclusion and demanded “repentance” by the more liberal provinces with inclusive policies. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP, File)
FILE – Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, front row, centre right poses for a photo with bishops from around the world at the University of Kent, during the 15th Lambeth Conference, in Canterbury, England, Friday, July 29, 2022. Friction has been simmering within the global Anglican Communion for many years over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. In 2022, the divisions have widened, as conservative bishops – notably from Africa and Asia – affirmed their opposition to LGBTQ inclusion and demanded “repentance” by the more liberal provinces with inclusive policies. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP, File)

Friction has been simmering within the global Anglican Communion for many years over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. This year, the divisions have widened, as conservative bishops – notably from Africa and Asia – affirmed their opposition to LGBTQ inclusion and demanded “repentance” by the more liberal provinces with inclusive policies.

Caught in the middle of the fray is the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is the top bishop of the Church of England and ceremonial leader of the Anglican Communion, which is one of the world’s largest Christian communities. Welby has acknowledged “deep disagreement” among the provinces, while urging them to “walk together” to the extent possible.

The divide came into the spotlight four months ago at the communion’s Lambeth Conference, typically held once every decade to bring together bishops from the more than 165 countries with Anglican-affiliated churches. It was the first Lambeth Conference since 2008, and the first to which married gay and lesbian bishops were invited.

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