The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Arch­bishop hits back over ‘anti-gay’ plot

- By Jonathan Pe­tre

THE Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury has crit­i­cised tra­di­tion­al­ists who are plant­ing a ‘mis­sion­ary’ bishop in the UK af­ter last week’s his­toric vote by Scot­tish Angli­cans to ap­prove gay mar­riage.

The re­buke from Justin Welby is his lat­est bid to avert a dam­ag­ing split in the world­wide Angli­can Com­mu­nion over ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

As re­ports re­vealed ear­lier this year, con­ser­va­tive arch­bish­ops, led by the Arch­bishop of Nige­ria, Ni­cholas Okoh, are to con­se­crate Canon Andy Lines in the US this month af­ter warn­ing Western churches are aban­don­ing bib­li­cal teach­ing on the is­sue.

Th­ese arch­bish­ops say he would sup­port dis­af­fected Angli­cans who quit in protest at the Scot­tish Epis­co­pal Church’s de­ci­sion last week to be­come the first Angli­can body in the UK to al­low same-sex mar­riage in its churches.

But Canon Lines, a for­mer Bri­tish Army tank com­man­der and fa­ther of three from Sur­rey, will also min­is­ter to tra­di­tion­al­ist parishes that break away from the Church of Eng­land.

Now, in a con­fi­den­tial let­ter to fel­low Angli­can lead­ers, seen by The Mail on Sun­day, Arch­bishop Welby has warned the African arch­bish­ops against cre­at­ing ‘dis­tur­bance and dis­cords’ by in­ter­ven­ing in Bri­tain.

Canon Lines’s pres­ence in the UK with­out Welby’s ap­proval could be seen as provoca­tive. But his back­ers com­plain that the Arch­bishop failed to re­buke the Scot­tish Epis­co­palians for per­mit­ting gay mar­riage, even though it is out of step with Church of Eng­land of­fi­cial pol­icy.

The for­mer Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali, a prom­i­nent tra­di­tion­al­ist, said: ‘The Scot­tish Epis­co­pal Church has done some­thing that will cause many peo­ple to ex­er­cise their right of con­science and not re­main in it.

‘Who is go­ing to look af­ter them?’

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