The Anglican Communion is in urgent need of a new reformation, according to a hard-hitting letter signed by the leader of one of the largest Anglican provinces in the world.
The Archbishop of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, who is also chair of the conservative Anglican faction GAFCON, criticised a recent meeting of primates from around the globe, which he boycotted, for its refusal to condemn homosexuality.
'The Canterbury Primates Meeting held earlier this month shows once again that the Anglican Communion is in urgent need of a new reformation,' he said in a forthright open letter. 'I and a number of brother Primates (representing between us over half of practising Anglicans worldwide) did not attend as a matter of conscience. We cannot "walk together" with those who have abandoned the teaching of the Bible, but that is what the Communiqué issued from the meeting encourages us to do.
'The painful truth is that the authority of Scripture is being replaced by the authority of Canterbury.'
The letter is one of GAFCON's regular statements and said the primates' communiqué at the end of their week-long meeing 'should embarrass all Anglicans who seek to live under the authority of the Word of God'.
But the hard-hittingletter does not match up with language from GAFCON primates who attended the meeting. The Archbishop of Kenya, Jackson Ole Sapit who is a member of the GAFCON primates' council, called on his fellow conservatives to 'constructively engage' after three, including Okoh, refused to attend.
In an interview with Christian Today during the week's conference he said: 'There are a whole range of areas that the Church is doing beautifully in and it can do even more when it is strong, when it is united because you can have a stronger voice than when we are disintegrated.'
He added: 'We can influence society, we can be able to able to influence decisions, even internationally, when we are together.
'But divided we shall be weak.'
Okoh's letter also urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to allow the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), a splinter group from the official US Anglican Episcopal Church, to join the 80million strong Anglican Communion – a decision that was rejected by the primates themselves at their last meeting in 2016.
Okoh concluded: 'So how should we move forward? The process of reformation is never smooth sailing, but we can be sure that as we remain faithful to our vision of restoring the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion, we shall have success in God's good time.'