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Justin Welby rebukes appointment of new 'missionary' bishop
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned African Anglican leaders against creating 'disturbance and discords' by intervening in Britain with the appointment of a 'missionary' bishop.
In a letter to fellow Anglican leaders - obtained by the Mail on Sunday - Justin Welby accused them of a 'cross-border' intervention' that would 'carry no weight in the Church of England'.
The Scottish Episcopal Church last week made history when it voted in favour of allowing same-sex couples to be allowed to marry in church.
As a result, GAFCON, a worldwide group of conservative Anglicans, named English based Rev Canon Andy Lines as a missionary bishop to cater for disaffected Christians in Scotland, England and across Europe.
Later this month conservative archbishops, led by the Archbishop of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, plan to consecrate Rev Canon Lines at a meeting in America.
The former British Army tank commander and father-of-three from Surrey will be tasked with looking after disaffected Anglicans who are unhappy at potential changes to church teaching on sexuality.
The Archbishop addressed leaders across the 80 million-strong worldwide Communion saying that there was no need for a missionary bishop in the Church of England because worshippers could already express a range of views.
He also quoted the 'uncompromising' verdict of the early Church's First Council of Nicea in 325 AD, which condemned the 'great disturbances and discords that occur' when bishops ministered in this way.
Rev Canon Lines told Premier if his appointment led to a divide within the Anglican Communion, the people who voted in favour of gay marriages in the Scottish Episcopal Church were responsible.
He added: "I am staying where the Anglican Communion has always been in its beliefs."
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