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New Archbishop of Canterbury facing showdown with senior bishops

By Edward Malnick, Telegraph

The new Archbishop of Canterbury is facing a showdown with senior church leaders over the Church of England’s decision to allow the appointment of gay bishops.

In the first major test of his leadership of the worldwide Anglican Communion the Most Rev Justin Welby will be warned that the Church’s move risks alienating millions of traditionalist Anglicans in Africa and Asia.

Leaders of churches around the world are flying to Britain for Archbishop Welby’s formal installation at Canterbury cathedral next month, when some of them will meet the Archbishop for the first time.

Many want the new spiritual head of the 80-million strong Communion to call for an end to “divisive” moves away from traditional church teaching on sexuality, such as the ordination of gay clergy as bishops.

Nine of the Communion’s 38 most senior leaders, or primates, have said bishops in the Church of England were “wrong” to approve new rules allowing gay men to become bishops at a time when the Anglican Church faces “major challenges of disunity”.

Leaders of the Global South – a grouping of the Anglican churches in Africa, Asia and South America – have also condemned “revisionist” moves by the Episcopal Church in the US, which has ordained openly gay bishops and blesses same-sex relationships.

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