After all 37 Primates from around the world met in Canterbury, they issued a statement saying that, according to traditional doctrine, marriage should be between “a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union”.
The liberal clergy are upset about this statement and even a prominent supporter of gay marriage said he was “thoroughly ashamed to be Anglican” because of the decision.
This issue has divided the Church, with conservatives and many Anglicans in African countries opposed to same-sex weddings, while liberals and the Episcopal Church in the US support them.
According to the Independent in the UK, "The Primates’ meeting – called by the Archbishop of Canterbury in an attempt to sort out the conflict – appears to have come down firmly on the side of the conservatives."
A document spelling out what had been agreed – leaked ahead of a planned announcement on Friday – said there were “ongoing, deep differences… concerning our understanding of marriage”.
“Recent developments in the Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage,” the document said. “The traditional doctrine of the Church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.”
It added that the US Episcopal Church’s decision to recognise gay marriage was “a departure from the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with each other in the Anglican Communion”.
“Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us,” the document said.