The GAFCON Primates Council have issued a communiqué with very strong language challenging Welby’s statement over the appointment of the new Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, a man living in a same-sex relationship. They write,
The announcement from the Archbishop of Canterbury distanced himself from this appointment, as it was the recommendation of a Selection Panel, requiring the Queen’s approval. Yet it is difficult to see how a Diocesan Bishop, let alone the Archbishop of Canterbury, could not influence the appointment of the Dean of his own Cathedral, especially given the published process for the Appointment of Deans. Moreover, filling this position was the responsibility of Mr Stephen Knott, the Archbishop’s Secretary for Appointments, who is himself in a same-sex marriage. It is disingenuous, if not duplicitous, for the Archbishop to claim that the Church of England has not changed its doctrine of marriage, when he has engaged an Appointments Secretary, whose own union is a living contradiction of marriage as God has ordained it, and which the Church of England claims to uphold.
The full communiqué addresses a range of topics:
The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches have also recently issued a release on the appointment claiming, “Archbishop of Canterbury Shuts the Door of the Cathedral to Orthodox Anglicans” and that “The present Archbishop of Canterbury seems intent on relinquishing his leading role as ‘primus inter pares’(‘first among equals) in the matter of establishing and safeguarding the Church’s teaching”.
The ACO and Welby’s repeated insistence that the Lambeth Conference was successful don’t appear to be persuading the majority of the Communion.