Badi allies with Orthodoxy, dumps Church of England over same sex blessing

By Gladys Kole

The primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) and archbishop of the archdiocese of Juba Most Reverend Dr. Justin Badi Arama has declared allegiance of the ECSS church under his leadership to work only with the Orthodox, ditching the Church of England over the blessing of same sex marriage saga.

He echoed the declaration yesterday in his Easter message to the faithful and general public.

In February this year the decision of the Church of England, which in their synod voted in support of prayers to bless same sex unions in their church was never a welcome development by the South Sudan Anglican Community and particularly Episcopal Church of South Sudan ECSS denomination.

“The episcopal church of South Sudan strongly condemned this practice of same-sex relationship because it is unnatural, unbiblical and therefore it is sinful” said Archbishop Badi.

“We declare impaired communion with provinces that have embraced such practices. We advise all our bishops, priests and faithful to only work and fellowship with those churches around the Anglican Communion that are genuinely orthodox” the primate of the ECSS declared in his Easter message.

Head of the Anglican Communion in the country vowed lead the South Sudan Anglican community in the right path basing on the old historic church doctrines.

 “The episcopal church of South Sudan will continue to uphold and stand on the historic faith of the apostles and early church fathers, as received and enshrined in the Anglican formulary of faith, the Holy Scriptures, creeds and prayer book (1662)” he assured his faithful.

Recently, the Church of England decided to allow blessings for same-sex civil marriages but said same-sex couples could not marry in its churches. However the Vatican forbids both gay marriage and blessings for same-sex unions.

Meanwhile in February a group of religious leaders representing a significant portion of the world’s Anglicans referred to as the “Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA)”, voted to reject the leadership of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby after the Church of England’s governing body in early February voted to bless same-sex couples.

GSFA composed of 14 of the 25 Anglican provinces in areas such as Africa and Oceania. The group issued a statement in February accusing the Church of England, of which Welby is senior bishop, of breaking communion with the provinces who remain faithful to a biblical view of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Since the formation of the Anglican Communion in 1867 — which is composed of 42 Anglican churches throughout the world — the archbishop of Canterbury has been considered the global communion’s spiritual and moral leader, though he has no binding authority.

Welby and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell announced Feb. 9 that the Church of England will “publicly, unreservedly, and joyfully welcome same-sex couples in church.” This comes after the General Synod of the Church of England, made up of bishops, clergy, and laity, voted 250-181 to approve the offering of blessings to same-sex couples in civil marriages, while leaving unchanged the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

Following the vote, the GSFA said it “deeply regrets” the decision, charging that it “goes against the overwhelming mind of the Anglican Communion.

The GSFA, which was established in 1994, claims to represent a large majority of the world’s Anglicans — as much as 75%, or about 64 million Anglicans. The GSFA is chaired by Archbishop Justin Badi, primate of South Sudan.

Leave unfruitful practices     

The ECSS primate Badi in his Easter message also urged all South Sudanese to leave behind all unproductive practices of hatred, divisions and violence and instead to focus on peace, reconciliation and productive works for the good of “our nation”.

“As we celebrate this year the Easter story emerged from the darkness of death, sorrow, fear and sadness, today in our time the darkness of death persists in our families, in our nation and throughout the world. This old world has become very dark in ways of hate and violence, in the ways of sin and unbiblical practices” Badi said.

Easter or Resurrection Sunday is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD.

It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus Christ, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

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