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Australian Primate rebukes bishops' attendance at GAFCON consecration

by Tola Mbakwe

The Most Reverend Dr Philip L Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne wrote an open letter condemning Archbishop Glenn Davies and Bishop Richard Condie.

He was unhappy they went against his advice in joining the meeting held by GAFCON, a group of conservative Anglicans.

GAFCON appointed Rev Canon Andy Lines as a new bishop to oversee disaffected Anglicans in the UK without the approval of Church authorities.

The new role emerged after GAFCON was disappointed in the Scottish Episcopal Church's (SEC) decision to allow same-sex marriage last June.

The group accused the SEC of "rejecting the authority of the Bible".

GAFCON hopes Canon Lines will "plant dynamic churches all over Scotland" and recognise "the pastoral need" for "faithful Anglicans".

Archbishop Philip said the new role doesn't align with his National Constitution and the bishops shouldn't support it.

He wrote in his letter: "...I have deep concerns that the participation by our Episcopal colleagues in the consecration of Canon Lines, with or without the support of their respective dioceses, is contrary to the spirit of the canons of the Council of Nicaea and, most importantly, outside of the authority of our National Constitution.

"It may also be outside the authority of the Consecration of Bishops Canon, 1966 of the Anglican Church of Australia.

"As we respond to these developments let us resolve to uphold each other in mutual prayer and to do all we can to strengthen the koinonia we share as bishops of the Anglican Church of Australia."

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