The head of the Anglican Church in South Africa, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, has said that he welcomes the US church’s decision to stop officiating same sex-marriages in that country.

In a statement released on The Anglican Communion Official Website, Ndungane says that the more liberal Episcopal Church – the US Anglican wing – has “committed itself to the path of reconciliation.”

The comments follow a pronouncement at the end of September by Episcopal bishops to halt officiating same-sex marriages as well as any further ordination of gay clergy in the US.

The decision was seen as an attempt to avert a looming split within the global Anglican body, know as the Anglican Communion, over these issues.

A number of African Anglican leaders – who have spearheaded the opposition to recognising gays and lesbians in the church – have rejected the move by the US Bishops as not being sufficient.

They have said that they see the Episcopal bishops’ action as being temporary and not showing sufficient repentance for having previously ordained gay clergy and officiating same-sex unions.

Ndungane, however, disagrees, saying that “the rest of the Anglican Communion must make sure the moment is not lost.”

He added that, “We now have a basis for going forward together, working alongside one another to restore the broken relationships both within the Episcopal Church and within the wider Communion.”

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