African Anglican leaders threaten split from Church of England over same-sex union blessing

Archbishop of Kenya Eliud Wabukala and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
(Image credit: Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images)

When the Church of England voted Feb. 9 to allow Anglican clergy to bless same-sex civil unions, there was grumbling in England that the change doesn't go far enough because it still excludes same-sex church weddings. In Africa, the change was a step too far for the Anglican leaders of Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, Religion News Service reports. The leaders of those three African churches, with a combined flock of about 35 million Anglicans, rejected England's compromise and are threatening to cut bait.

The Church of England, in "offering to bless that sin" of same-sex civil marriage, is "making contradictory statements and expecting everyone to believe both can be true at the same time," Archbishop Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu of Uganda said in a statement. "As the Church of Uganda, we cannot accept that. God cannot bless what he calls sin." The Anglican Church of Uganda broke with the U.S. Episcopal Church, also a member of the global Anglican Communion, when it installed an openly gay bishop, he noted.

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