The Anglican church in Scotland has been disciplined for dropping the biblical definition of marriage, Justin Welby has announced.
In June The Scottish Episcopal Church stated that its understanding of marriage was no longer one man and one woman, but instead merely “in accordance with the civil law of Scotland”.
It will now be barred from decision-making processes within the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Speaking during a meeting of Anglican leaders, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “There were a lot of expressions of disappointment, strong feelings from many of the provinces.”
But he added, “it was more of a family that’s having to face the fact that something’s happened that is causing grief than a sort of club that doesn’t like one of its members”.
The leader of the Scottish church was adamant that it had made the right decision and in recent weeks its churches have held same-sex weddings.
Last year, the US Episcopal church was suspended from the Anglican Communion for three years for “a fundamental departure from the faith” over marriage.
It changed its church law in 2015 to remove reference to marriage as being between a man and a woman.
GAFCON, a conservative grouping of Anglicans said at the time that the “continuing brokenness of the Communion” has been caused by “the persistent rejection of biblical and apostolic faith”.
No clear answer
Earlier this week, Justin Welby said he could not give a clear answer on whether homosexual sex is a sin because of major differences in the Anglican church globally.
He said: “I am having to struggle to be faithful to the tradition, faithful to the scripture, to understand what the call and will of God is in the 21st century and to respond appropriately with an answer for all people – not condemning them, whether I agree with them or not – that covers both sides of the argument.
“And I haven’t got a good answer, and I am not doing that bit of work as well as I would like.”