Africa

Southern Africans Set to Test Anglican Ban on Same-Sex Unions

The province is scheduled to vote on gay clergy and blessing civil unions.
Southern Africans Set to Test Anglican Ban on Same-Sex Unions
Archbishop of the Anglican Church Thabo Makgoba (right) with former South African presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki in 2013.

When the global Anglican Communion censured the Episcopal Church in the United States for redefining marriage eight months ago, it warned that similar actions would be applied to other provinces "when any unilateral decisions on matters of doctrine and polity are taken that threaten our unity."

Next month, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) may toe up against that line.

The ACSA—which includes South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Angola—won’t allow clergy to marry same-sex couples like the Episcopal Church did, but it announced this week that when its provincial synod meets next month, the province will consider blessing same-sex civil unions and allowing clergy in legal same-sex civil unions.

“The motion … proposes that any bishop of the church who wishes to do so may make provision for her or his clergy to provide pastoral care to those who identify as LGBTI,” stated Thabo Makgoba, archbishop of Cape Town and ...

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