(LifeSiteNews) — Anglican bishops throughout the world have declared their communion with the Anglican Church of England to be “broken” over the latter’s support of same-sex “marriage” and its official approval of a liturgical rite of blessing for same-sex unions.
The declaration came in an April 21 statement issued by the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans’ fourth Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) held in Rwanda. A total of 1,300 delegates attended the conference, representing an estimated 85% of the world’s Anglicans.
“The current divisions in the Anglican Communion have been caused by radical departures from the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some within the Communion have been taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies of this world (Colossians 2:8). Such a failure to hear and heed God’s Word undermines the mission of the church as a whole,” the GAFCON IV statement said.
“Despite 25 years of persistent warnings by most Anglican Primates, repeated departures from the authority of God’s Word have torn the fabric of the Communion. These warnings were blatantly and deliberately disregarded and now without repentance this tear cannot be mended.”
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) has described assisted suicide as sometimes being the “greatest common good concretely possible” contrary to the Catholic Church's strenuous condemnation of the practice.
This betrayal of the Catholic faith by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is not for the first time, with the PAV repeatedly causing scandal under his watch by:
- recently appointing a notorious pro-abortion atheist to the organization
- claiming contraception and artificial insemination are sometimes acceptable
- insisting that priests could accompany people through assisted-suicide, and
- that Italy's pro-abortion law is a “pillar” of the country's social life.
SIGN: Pope Francis must remove Abp. Paglia from the Pontifical Academy for Life
“Personally, I would not practice suicide assistance,” Archbishop Paglia told an Italian journalism conference last week, “but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in.”
Accepting an anti-life Italian court ruling that specified when assisted-suicide is permitted, the archbishop claimed “it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible that would allow assistance to suicide under the conditions specified by Constitutional Court Sentence 242/2019...”
From the outset of his presentation in Perugia, Paglia also undermined the authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, stating: “First of all, I would like to clarify that the Catholic Church is not that it has a ready-made, prepackaged package of truths, as if it were a dispenser of truth pills.”
SIGN: Abp. Paglia must be removed from the Pontifical Academy for Life
The PAV issued a statement on Monday trying to clarify the archbishop's remarks, insisting that Paglia “reiterates his ‘no’ towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, in full adherence to the Magisterium”.
However, far from denouncing Paglia’s words, the PAV unsurprisingly supported its president. Referencing the Italian court ruling which partially decriminalized euthanasia by outlining exceptions to its illegality, the PAV stated it was in the context of this ruling that Paglia had made his comments.
In this precise and specific context, Msgr. Paglia explained that in his opinion a ‘legal mediation’ (certainly not a moral one) in the direction indicated by the Sentence is possible, maintaining the crime and the conditions under which it is decriminalized, as the same Constitutional Court has asked Parliament to legislate.
The PAV’s fudging of the issue was met with consternation from several Catholic commentators, with liturgist Matthew Hazell, who had highlighted Paglia’s original comments, asking “How hard is it for the @PontAcadLife to just say ‘sorry’ for scandalising the faithful? Indeed, how hard is it to actually adhere to the teaching of the Church on life issues? Are you so incapable of reading the signs of the times & interpreting them in the light of the Gospel?”
The Pontifical Academy for Life has tried & failed to explain @monspaglia's remarks. Paglia had spoken about the “accompaniment” needed for the dying, saying “in this context, it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible …” https://t.co/C3LU601aA2— Michael Haynes 🇻🇦 (@MLJHaynes) April 24, 2023
Sorry guys, not good enough. Nowhere near good enough.— Matthew Hazell (@M_P_Hazell) April 24, 2023
Archbishop Paglia's "opinion" on the possibility of "juridical mediation" regarding euthanasia is still contrary to the Catholic faith, as has been explained already. https://t.co/qMATq0UZrL pic.twitter.com/W8s4zLvkj7
Archbishop Paglia's comments about assisted suicide being "feasible" are wrong and harmful. It's the kind of "crack in the wall" that opponents of human life will run with to promote their agenda. The teaching of the Church is clear: Euthanasia is "morally unacceptable." Period.— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) April 24, 2023
SIGN: Abp. Paglia's presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life is untenable
It's vital that the Church and PAV push back against the culture of death, rather than trying to accommodate it and accept a world that where the vulnerable are helped to kill themselves.
Be part of pushing back against the tide and making it clear that there is no room for confusion or betrayal when it comes to the sanctity of human life and the infallibilty of Catholic teaching on the matter.
SIGN AND SHARE THE PETITION WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
Abp. Paglia defends assisted-suicide as 'greatest common good possible' for dying people - LifeSiteNews
READ: Several Anglican bishops reject Archbishop of Canterbury as global leader after same-sex blessing decision
Directly addressing the decision of the Church of England to approve the liturgical blessing of same-sex unions, the bishops called such rites a “deceptive and blasphemous” blessing of sin and a grievance to the Holy Spirit.
“The latest of these departures is the majority vote by the General Synod of the Church of England in February 2023 to welcome proposals by the bishops to enable same-sex couples to receive God’s blessing. It grieves the Holy Spirit and us that the leadership of the Church of England is determined to bless sin. Since the Lord does not bless same-sex unions, it is pastorally deceptive and blasphemous to craft prayers that invoke blessing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
The bishops reiterated the teaching of Scripture that marriage is a lifelong union of a man and woman, condemning any departure from that teaching as contrary to both the order of nature and what is required for salvation. “Any refusal to follow the biblical teaching that the only appropriate context for sexual activity is the exclusive lifelong union of a man and a woman in marriage violates the created order (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4–6) and endangers salvation (1 Corinthians 6:9),” they declared.
The bishops doubled down on their previous condemnations of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Church of England for their departure from the teaching of Scripture, declaring their support of same-sex blessings “a betrayal of their ordination and consecration vows to banish error and to uphold and defend the truth taught in Scripture.”
They also pointed out that the February approval runs contrary to the Church of England’s own resolution in the 1998 Lambeth Conference, which Welby affirmed is still valid, “which declared that ‘homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture’ and advised against the ‘legitimising or blessing of same-sex unions.’”
Denouncing the attempt of the Church of England to both bless same-sex unions and declare them “incompatible with Scripture,” the bishops refused to accept “contradictory positions” within their communion “in matters affecting salvation.”
“We reject the claim that two contradictory positions can both be valid in matters affecting salvation,” they declared. “We cannot ‘walk together’ in good disagreement with those who have deliberately chosen to walk away from the ‘faith once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3). The people of God ‘walk in his ways,’ ‘walk in the truth,’ and ‘walk in the light,’ all of which require that we do not walk in Christian fellowship with those in darkness (Deuteronomy 8:6; 2 John 4; 1 John 1:7).”
The bishops then called on the Church of England to repent, enumerating other points of Christian doctrine that have also come under attack within the Anglican communion, declaring that until such repentance occurs, their communion with the Church of England “remains broken.”
Since those who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1), we call upon those provinces, dioceses and leaders who have departed from biblical orthodoxy to repent of their failure to uphold the Bible’s teaching. This includes matters such as human sexuality and marriage, the uniqueness and divinity of Christ, his bodily resurrection, his promised return, the summons to faith and repentance and the final judgment.
We long for this repentance but until they repent, our communion with them remains broken.
We consider that those who refuse to repent have abdicated their right to leadership within the Anglican Communion, and we commit ourselves to working with orthodox Primates and other leaders to reset the Communion on its biblical foundations.
The Catholic bishops of Africa have also stood up recently in defense of Christian marriage, with Catholic bishops and priests throughout Uganda urging the faithful at the beginning of Lent to repent from grave sins like homosexuality and fight the Western-backed spread of pro-LGBT propaganda. Bishop Joseph Mwongela of the Diocese of Kitui, Kenya, affirmed that Keyan Catholics would defend the truth about marriage “even if it means martyrdom.”
READ: African bishop: We will stand for God’s truth ‘even if it means martyrdom’
In 2021, the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (now Dicastery) was asked whether the Church has the “power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex.” In response, the CDF, with the assent of the Pope, called such unions “illicit,” explaining that the Church cannot “impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”
God “does not and cannot bless sin,” the congregation affirmed.
African bishops mark beginning of Lent with call to fight LGBT propaganda, homosexuality
Anglican Church of Uganda blasts Church of England for decision to ‘bless’ same-sex unions
Anglican bishop in Kenya rejects Church of England’s decision to bless same-sex unions
Anglican bishop in Rwanda: Church of England’s same-sex blessing decision the ‘last nail in the coffin’
Anglican archbishop defends Church of England’s ‘transgender’ guidance for 5-year-olds