African Anglicans to Refuse 'Gay Cash'

African Anglican archbishops resolved today to reject donations from any diocese that recognises gay clergy and will refuse cooperation with any missionary that supports the idea.

It was the latest attack by church conservatives on the consecration of an openly gay bishop in the US state of New Hampshire.

The archbishops, meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, also recommended that the Episcopal Church – the American branch of the Anglican church –, be disciplined and be given three months “to repent” for the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, an openly gay man.

If the Episcopal church is not disciplined, African Anglicans will be free to take whatever action they see fit, but breaking away from the worldwide Anglican Communion “is not an option”, said Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.

He acknowledged, though, that rejecting funds raised in wealthy nations, particularly the United States, will hurt the African churches in the short term.

“If we suffer for a while to gain our independence and our freedom and to build ourselves up, I think it will be a good thing for the church in Africa,” said Akinola, who is also chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa.

The worldwide Anglican Communion, a group of 37 independent national churches that trace their roots to the Church of England, has 76.5 million members of whom 36.8 million are African. The African churches are the fastest growing in the world.