The Scottish branch of the Anglican Church faces sanctions from other Anglicans following its acceptance of same sex marriage.
The Scottish Episcopal Church voted to allow same sex marriages ceremonies in churches by a huge majority over the summer, to the stern disapproval of believers in other countries who together making up the global ‘Anglican Communion’. At a gathering in Canterbury this week, Anglicans are expected to agree on a range of punitive measures against the Scottish church such as excluding it from Anglican organisations and policy decisions.
Similar measures actions were taken against American Anglicans – the Episcopal Church of the United States – last year when they also backed gay marriages in church buildings. The Anglican community in Canada is expected to take a similar line shortly, The Guardian reports.
Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon is Secretary General of the worldwide Anglican Communion. He said of the Scottish decision:
“There are differing views about same-sex marriage within the Anglican communion, but this puts the Scottish Episcopal church at odds with the majority stance that marriage is the lifelong union of a man and a woman. This is a departure from the faith and teaching upheld by the overwhelming majority of Anglican provinces on the doctrine of marriage.”
The Communion meeting is likely to be contentious, with three African Archbishops – from Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria – having already announced plans to boycott the event in protest against the church’s alleged failure to take a unanimous stance in favour of traditional doctrines on marriage.
Archbishop Okoh of Nigeria said:
“…the will of the orthodox primates is frustrated and misrepresented [and] false teaching is not being corrected … In these circumstances, I have concluded that attendance at Canterbury would be to give credibility to a pattern of behaviour which is allowing great damage to be done to global Anglican witness and integrity.”