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On the second day of the Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury, England, the Most Revd Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, explained the polity and process by which that church came to a decision earlier this summer to move forward with marriage equality. The Anglican Communion News Service reports:
Bishop Strange said: “In June the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to change its Canon on Marriage. This decision was ours to take as a self-governing province of the Anglican Communion.
“However, I recognise that this decision is one that has caused some hurt and anger in parts of the Anglican Communion and that the decision taken at the last Primates’ Meeting, which was to exclude our brothers and sisters in the [US-based] Episcopal Church from debate on doctrine and from chairing Anglican Communion committees, is a decision that now also pertains to us.
“We will continue to play our part in the Anglican Communion we helped to establish, and I will do all I can to rebuild relationships, but that will be done from the position our Church has now reached in accordance with its synodical processes and in the belief that love means love.”
In his briefing to reporters, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby confirmed that he would impose the same “consequences” upon the SEC as he had on the Episcopal Church in 2016.
Confirming that the “consequences” that were applied to the US-based Episcopal Church now also applied to the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told reporters on Tuesday evening: “Bishop Mark said in his opening presentation that he expected that to happen and accepted that it would. It is left in my hands to follow that through and it will be followed through as I did after the Primates’ Meeting of 2016.”
Archbishop Welby confirmed that no vote was taken by the Primates, explaining that it is unusual for formal votes to be taken at Primates’ Meetings. There was a “consensus” he said.
Some primates had queried whether the inclusion of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on a task group to look at how the primates could continue to “walk together” was a breach of the consequences. Welby responded,
“When you look at the wording of what was decided last time it was perfectly clear that there needed to be a conversation, a dialogue, about what it meant. And you clearly can’t have a conversation when you only have one group in the room.”
Read more at the Anglican Communion News Service.