Archbishop Sixbert Macumi, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi, has refuted claims that his province is considering leaving the Anglican Communion, dubbing the rumours “fake news.”
Rumours had suggested that the province intended to become a member of the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) instead.
Gafcon is a group that considers themselves “authentic Anglicans”, standing against “moral compromise and doctrinal error” in the Anglican Communion.
Archbishop Sixbert has written to the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, as well as the chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, to set the record straight.
He claims the reasons for the rumour is still unknown and that the province is “clear” on remaining a member – but only so long as the 1998 Lambeth Conference 1/10 resolution is observed.
The resolution affirms the church’s traditional teachings on homosexuality – that sexual relationships are between a man and a woman, and that same-sex unions cannot be legitimised or blessed.
Last week, the Church of England announced plans to host blessings for LGBT+ couples in churches, in lieu of legalising same-sex marriage.
However, the Archbishop of Canterbury has confirmed that he will not personally bless same-sex unions in order to avoid difficulties within the Anglican Communion.
In the letter to the secretary general, Archbishop Sixbert said: “I would like also to take this opportunity to inform the Anglican Church worldwide that the constitution of the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi . . . is much clear on being a member of the Anglican Communion, and such decision cannot be changed unless Diocesan Synods, the House of Bishops, and the Provincial Synod, which are the Anglican Church organs for decision-making are consulted and therefore approve it.
“This means that whoever will not follow this procedure would be considered as a deviant to the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi.
“In conclusion, I strongly reaffirm that the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi is and will remain a member of the Anglican Communion much as the biblical truth is observed and the Good News of Jesus Christ is faithfully proclaimed.”
Responding to the letter, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, said: “Anglicans in Burundi are a very important and much loved part of our Anglican Communion of churches. I do not know who is responsible for circulating these false rumours, but they seek to sow seeds of discord and disunity and distract us from our focus of being God’s Church for God’s World.
“I thank God for the ministry of Archbishop Sixbert and his co-bishops in Burundi, and of their faithfulness, and the faithfulness of their priests, deacons and congregations to the Gospel of Christ.”