A WSJ profile of Archbp of Canterbury Justin Welby–rifts over theology, marriage and anthropology Challenge Anglicanism’s Leader

The 2008 Lambeth Conference displayed the divisions that had broken out across the denomination five years earlier, when Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was elected as Anglicanism’s first openly gay bishop by the U.S. Episcopal Church. About 230 conservative bishops from different countries, many from Africa, stayed away to protest the presence of bishops from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, some of whose congregations had begun to bless same-sex marriages.

That year, a group bound by adherence to a conservative reading of scripture, including the proscription of homosexual acts, founded the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON.

“There is no running away from the choice between following the teachings of the Bible or following the culture of our time,” says Nigerian Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, general secretary of GAFCON, who hasn’t attended a Lambeth Conference since 1998 and said he won’t attend this year.

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