Second African province announces Anglican boycott over LGBT controversies

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

A second African Archbishop has announced he is to boycott the next meeting of Anglican leaders.

Archbishop of Kenya Eliud Wabukala said his province will join Uganda in a boycott of the next meeting of the Communion's central body, the Anglican Consultative Council.

The decisions by Kenya and Uganda to stay away from the meeting in Lusaka, Zambia in April further imperils attempts by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to maintain unity in the face of deep divisions over homosexuality.

The influential conservative African provinces are refusing to attend because the US Episcopal Church has declared that in spite of "consequences" imposed by the primates in January as a result of its liberal policies on gay ordination and gay marriage, its delegates will attend and vote at the meeting.

Wabukala, whose ministry is based at the Anglican cathedral in Nairobi, wrote that he had attended the January primates meeting in Canterbury out of a deep commitment "to the unity and restoration of our beloved Anglican Communion."

He and the other conservative primates, who are members of GAFCON, the Global Anglican Futures Conference, had hoped the chance would be taken "to restore godly faith and order".

They had hoped that the primates' decision to impose consequences on the US Church would send "a powerful message around the world that the collective mind of the Communion was to remain faithful to the Scriptures and God's purpose for man and woman in marriage."

The primates voted that The Episcopal Church should withdraw its representatives from groups representing the Anglican Communion ecumenically and not participate in votes on doctrine and policy in the Communion's institutions.

However, since the meeting, the presiding bishop of the US Church has made it clear that his Church will not think again about same-sex marriage and its delegates intend to play a full part in the Lusaka meeting.

"There can be no true walking together with those who persistently refuse to walk in accordance with God's Word and the Anglican Church of Kenya will not therefore be participating in the forthcoming meeting of the ACC in Lusaka," said Wabukala. "An opportunity has been missed to use the ACC for good and it is increasingly clear that the GAFCON movement must continue to provide a focus for that godly unity so many of us desire."