Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 10:31 UK

Kenya Anglicans reject Pope offer

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala says it is a question of faith

The head of Kenya's Anglican Church, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, has rejected the Pope's offer to allow disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.

He told the BBC it would not be easy for African Anglicans to enter into full communion with Catholics.

Earlier this week, the Vatican said groups of Anglicans could join but maintain a distinct religious identity.

There are splits among Anglicans worldwide over homosexuality and the ordination of women.

Causes of discord in the worldwide Anglican communion have included the election of an openly gay bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions.

The Protestant family understands faith in different ways
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

The Vatican said the new rules followed requests from Anglicans wanting to join while retaining their liturgical heritage.

However, Archbishop Wabukala told the BBC's Network Africa programme there was "no possibility" of his becoming a Catholic.

"The Protestant family understands faith in different ways, for example, the idea of the Eucharist, the Lord's Supper, the interpretation of ministry," he said.

He said his fellow African Anglican bishops were "deeply evangelical".

Ugandan Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi has also said Pope Benedict's measure was not called for in the African Anglican Church, which he said had successfully resisted liberalism from Western countries.

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