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Anglican primates gather in Canterbury; ‘schism would not be a disaster’

January 12, 2016

The primates of the 38 ecclesial communities of the Anglican Communion gathered in Canterbury at Archbishop Justin Welby’s invitation on January 11.

The six-day meeting began with Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral. Likely agenda items include homosexuality, women’s ordination, the protection of minors, and the environment.

Addressing concerns that some African primates may leave over the issue of homosexuality, Archbishop Welby told BBC that “a schism would not be a disaster.”

“God is bigger than our failures, but it would be a failure,” he said. “Certainly I want reconciliation, but reconciliation doesn't always mean agreement-- in fact, it very seldom does. It means finding ways to disagree well, and that's what we've got to do this week.”

Archbishop Welby added that “there's nothing I can do if people decide that they want to leave the room. It won't split the communion.”

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  • Posted by: Leferink557202 - Jan. 12, 2016 4:15 PM ET USA

    I can see several new Personal Ordinariates popping up in the not-too-distant future.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jan. 12, 2016 3:50 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Welby apparently is determined to draw a line in the sand, which is the first time in my lifetime that I have seen that happen in the Anglican Communion. In doing so, he is effectively administering the coup de grace to Anglicanism.

  • Posted by: rik92vin8086 - Jan. 12, 2016 3:04 PM ET USA

    aside from the obvious benefit of staying within proper Church teaching on the listed issues, maybe those breaking from modernizing/secular conforming religions want to come into the fullness of the faith.

  • Posted by: loumiamo - Jan. 12, 2016 8:05 AM ET USA

    Schism would not be a disaster? People often forget that no matter how bad a storm may be blowing, everyone still notices when a tornado shows up.