Evangelicals object to bishops’ appointment

27 May 2016

EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF VIRGINIA

Commissioned: Bishop Susan Goff

Commissioned: Bishop Susan Goff

THE appointment of a bishop from the Episcopal Church in the United States in the diocese of Liverpool has provoked a complaint from conservative Evangelicals.

The Suffragan Bishop of Virginia, the Rt Revd Susan Goff, was commissioned to serve as an honorary assistant bishop in Liverpool by the Bishop of Virginia, the Rt Revd Shannon S. Johnston, and the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, on 2 May, in Virginia. Liverpool and Virginia are companion dioceses. A statement from the diocese of Liverpool said that the appointment “comes with the blessing” of the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US, the Most Revd Michael Curry.

Among Bishop Goff’s first re­­sponsibilities in Liverpool will be preaching at the diocese's priesting ordination this year and speaking at the clergy conference in July.

A group of priests representing the Anglican Mission in England, GAFCON, and three bishops (the Rt Revd John Ellison, and two retired bishops: Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, and the Rt Revd Wallace Benn) have written to Bishop Bayes requesting that the invitation to Bishop Goff, be withdrawn. They cited the Episcopal Church’s “defiance” of teaching on marriage, “including Bishop Goff who has gone on record to deny it”, and argued that the appointment was a “deliberate and provocative rejection” of the “consequences” prescribed for the Episcopal Church by the Primates in their January meeting.

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