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Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace
World News

Archbishop of Canterbury says Lambeth Conference won't focus on issues of sexuality alone

by Kelly Valencia

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the upcoming Lambeth Conference won't be dominated by issues of sexuality and gender identity alone.

Most Rev Justin Welby said, instead, the once a decade gathering will focus on issues "which are destroying tens of hundreds of millions of lives".

"Whether it's food insecurity, whether it's rising sea levels, whether its war, persecution, freedom of religion and belief…those are things that come under the heading of God's call to the church to speak for justice in every area and not about human sexuality alone," he added.

Archbishop Justin made the remarks during a press conference, which concluded the first in-person Primates' Meeting since January 2020.

The event gathers all Primates from across the Anglican Communion's 42 provinces worldwide for prayer and reflection. But not all Primates attended the meeting.  

The Primates of Nigeria, Uganda, and Rwanda decided miss the event due to their opposition to some of the provinces' moves to a more liberal approach on the issues of sexuality.

In a communique published on Thursday, the Primates "lamented" the absence of the three Anglican leaders and said they "long for the time when we will all meet together".

During the press conference, Archbishop Justin said there is a "steady level of informal communication" with them, while the Primate of Canada, Dr Linda Nicholls encouraged them to attend the Lambeth Conference in the summer.

She said: "We miss you, and we would we would like you to be present with us, so that we can pray together, so that we can listen to one another, and so that we can hear about the concerns for mission and ministry in your context."

A debate on a current consultation on whether there should be wider involvement of the Anglican Communion in the choice of future Archbishops of Canterbury was also discussed during the Primates' Meeting.

They said that while a decision "has not been taken yet" a "large majority" was "generally supportive of the direction of travel".

Other issues such as the war in Ukraine, climate change and religious persecution were also discussed during the Primates' Meeting.

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