Adapted from ACNS

The Most Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, has issued this statement regarding the Scottish Episcopal Church’s vote to approve same-sex marriage:

The churches of the Anglican Communion are autonomous and free to make their own decisions on canon law. The Scottish Episcopal Church is one of 38, soon to be 39, provinces covering more than 165 countries around the world.

Today’s decision by the SEC to approve changes to canon law on marriage is not a surprise, given the outcome of the vote at its Synod a year ago. 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 Anglican Communion’s position on human sexuality is set out very clearly in Resolution 1.10 agreed at the Lambeth conference of 1998 and will remain so unless it is revoked.

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As Secretary General, I want the churches within the Anglican Communion to remain committed to walking together in the love of Christ and to working out how we can maintain our unity and uphold the value of every individual in spite of deeply held differences. It is important to stress the Communion’s strong opposition to the criminalization of LGBTIQ+ people.

The primates of the Communion will be meeting in Canterbury in October. I am sure today’s decision will be among the topics which will be prayerfully discussed. There will be no formal response to the SEC’s vote until the primates have met.

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