A schism in the Anglican Communion would be a “failure” but not a “disaster”, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Monday, shortly before the opening of the first meeting of Primates since 2011.
Interviewed on Today on BBC Radio 4, Archbishop Welby said that he “certainly” wanted reconciliation; but he went on: “There is nothing I can do if people decide that they want to leave the room,” Such a walk-out ”” reckoned to be 90-per-cent likely, according to one senior church source”” “won’t split the Communion”, he said.
He explained: “The Church is a family, and you remain a family even if you go your separate ways. That has always been the case, and it always will be. God puts us together, and we have to work out how we live with that, and how we serve God faithfully in a way that shows that you can disagree profoundly and still love and care for each other.”
He went on: “A schism would not be a disaster in the sense you put it. God is bigger than our failures. But it would be a failure. It would not be good if the Church is unable to set the example to the world of showing how we can live with one another and disagree profoundly, because we are brought together by Jesus Christ, not by our own choice.”