Primates 'sanctions' against Episcopal Church 'fail to heal tear in fabric of Anglican Communion'

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, left, is Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Gobal Anglican Futures Conference.Reuters

The imposition of penalties by Anglican leaders on The Episcopal Church (TEC) has failed to heal the tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion, conservative leaders said.

"There can be no true walking together until there is repentance for what is acknowledged even by TEC as a breach of core doctrine," said Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Gobal Anglican Futures Conference, in his letter on the Primates' Meeting.

"The fabric of the Communion is still badly torn and there is a strong possibility that this year we shall see other provinces taking the same step."

The primates imposed "consequences" on TEC for approving gay marriage and consecrating gay bishops. The Anglican Church in Canada is expected to vote on gay marriage this summer. 

According to a statement from the primates at last month's meeting in Canterbury, TEC will "no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity."

However, Archbishop Wabukala said it was clear that TEC "appear to have moved well beyond the possibility of changing course." He said he believed the three years during which the penalities will be in place will make no difference.

"I can say that all of us in the GAFCON movement need to set our faces to go to Jerusalem."

He condemned "the rise of a false gospel in the Anglican Communion" and said there was a "duty to reject the authority of churches and leaders who deny orthodox faith in word or deed."

He said the steps taken "to sanction" the Episcopal Church were "a step towards restoring godly faith and order" but soon after the end of the meeting "it was made very clear that there would be no repentance or change of direction on the part of TEC."

Archbishop Wabukala continued: "It is now clear that nothing has changed as a result of the Canterbury meeting."

George Conger of Anglican Ink also reported on a talk given by the chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Bishop James Tengatenga.

According to excerpts at Episcopal Cafe, Tengatenga said TEC "cannot be kicked out of the Anglican Communion and will never be kicked out of the Anglican Communion." He said the structures of the Anglican Communion did not permit the primates, or any other "instrument of communion", to discipline a member church.

He said the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council will be held in two months' time in Lusaka. "Are the Americans going there? Yes." There were not going there to be rude. It was their "right and responsibility" to attend the meeting. "Are they going to vote? Yes, they are going to vote as it is their right and responsibility."