GAFCON Chairman responds to the statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Posted by The_Elves

30th January 2014
Read it here and below the fold

See also:
GAFCON Chairman’s February pastoral letter
A Statement from the Global South Primates Steering Committee Cairo, Egypt 14-15 February 2014
CofE: House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage
How TEC funds Facilitated Conversations
Church of Uganda: Statement from Archbishop Ntagali
GAFCON Chairman’s Pastoral Statement
Archbishop Welby interviewed on Sexuality and the Anglican Communion with Transcript
A Statement from the C of E College of Bishops on the Pilling Report

Recent Featured Entries on the Pilling Report and Responses
Links to recent posts about alternative baptism liturgy for the Church of England

Robert Munday’s 5 part Series—Edward Salmon Invites the TEC PB to Preach at Nashotah House

A response to the statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York of 29th January 2014

This week, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York sought to remind the leadership of the Anglican Communion and the Presidents of Nigeria and Uganda of the importance of friendship and care for homosexual people.

Christians should always show particular care for those who are vulnerable, but this cannot be separated from the whole fabric of biblical moral teaching in which the nature of marriage and family occupy a central place.

The Dromantine Communiqué from which the Archbishops quote also affirmed (Clause 17) the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 which states that ‘homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture’ and that the conference ‘cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions’.

Yet earlier this week, the English College of Bishops accepted the recommendation of the Pilling Report for two years of ‘facilitated conversation’ because at least some of the bishops could not accept the historic teaching of the Church as reaffirmed in the Lambeth resolution.

Indeed, in making the case for such a debate, the Pilling Report observes ‘In the House of Lords debate on same sex marriage, the Archbishop of York commended that the Church needed to think about the anomalies in a situation where it is willing to bless a tree or a sheep, but not a faithful human relationship.’ The anomaly only exists of course if it really is the case that a committed homosexual union can also be Christian.

The good advice of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York would carry much more weight if they were able to affirm that they hold, personally, as well as in virtue of their office, to the collegial mind of the Anglican Communion. At the moment I fear that we cannot be sure.

Regrettably, their intervention has served to encourage those who want to normalize homosexual lifestyles in Africa and has fuelled prejudice against African Anglicans. We are committed to biblical sexual morality and to biblical pastoral care, so we wholeheartedly stand by the assurance given in the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution that those who experience same sex attraction are ‘loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.’

May God in his mercy grant that we may hold to the fullness of his truth and the fullness of his grace.

The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala

Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman, GAFCON Primates Council.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* AdminFeatured (Sticky)

10 Comments
Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Ralph wrote:

Let’s keep in mind that the Biblical prohibitions against homosexual practice are God’s instructions for persons who (from time to time or constantly) experience same sex attraction in one form or another. (There being no need for such laws for folks who do not have same sex attraction.)

Same sex attraction is disordered, but homosexual practice is mutually defiling in a way that leads to spiritual death. The Church must love and attempt to care for all who choose defilement (of any kind) over holiness, and call them to repentance.

This isn’t the same as affirmation. The Church cannot pronounce God’s blessing, in God’s Name, on what God forbids.

The ABps of Canterbury and York must publicly uphold Lambeth 1.10, or resign. The same goes for all who believe themselves to be in Holy Orders.

It’s good to see this kind of clarity emerging.

January 31, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
2. Luke wrote:

Yes, it is, but do you think there is any chance whatsoever of ++Welby or ++Sentamu either changing, or resigning?

I certainly do not.

January 31, 6:43 pm | [comment link]
3. farstrider+ wrote:

Athanasius redux. Once again African bishops take the lead against a heresy that has infected the churches of Europe and the West at large.  The godly leadership coming out of the GFCA right now is both impressive and encouraging for those of us who have prayed for, and fought for, Anglicanism’s restoration to its former glory. There is still much to be done, no doubt, but these men have issued a clarion call that is both clear and true.

January 31, 9:21 pm | [comment link]
4. William S wrote:

It seems to me that although ostensibly addressing Africans, the English Archbishops are really speaking to their own pro-gay constituency.
In the more liberal parts of the CofE the African churches and their Bishops are real bogeymen. They epitomise (for such people) hatred, bigotry and homophobia, egging their governments on to victimise gay people.
Archbishop Welby went to Nairobi before GAFCON. Now he has to make a gesture towards Changing Attitudes and such people, to say ‘Look, I may have gone to Nairobi, but see how I rebuke homophobia wherever it is found’. He is trying to show that he can confront the bogeymen.
It would be a difficult balancing act at the best of times, but when the internet enables pretty well everyone to read what he says to pretty well anyone, it just alienates everyone. Especially, I suspect, the African Bishops who rather understandably object to being patronised.

February 3, 3:08 am | [comment link]
5. Ross Gill wrote:

Maybe the English Archbishops need to address the perception that the African churches and their bishops are bogeymen.

February 3, 11:33 am | [comment link]
6. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#4 William S
An astute assessment.  There is no doubt both Archbishops Sentamu and Welby have been under pressure to issue some kind of statement from the small but noisy left.  There has been a small petition organised by US gay church activists, and much fulminating on their blogs - Thinking Anglicans and Episcopal Cafe and the like and from the few journalists on the left who take any interest in church matters including the atheist Andrew Brown.

Nevertheless, the release of this statement by the English Archbishops just as Welby was off to visit Africa suggests that it was:
1. a panic reaction to the negative Statements of the Archbishops of Kenya and Uganda to Welby’s Pilling Facilitated Conversation plans for the Communion ‘announced’ to the Communion by the English College of Bishops in best colonial form.
2. an attempt to divert attention from that by trying to conflate it with the domestic legislature actions of a number of African countries and so to muddy the waters.

The reason I think it was a statement released in a panic and not a little spite is because: firstly it was rushed out almost as a response to the criticisms of Welby’s scheme within a day or so of them being published; and secondly it has cast a shadow over Welby’s African tour where he was planning to schmooze rather than inflame African Primates.  I doubt that was the original plan for the start of Welby’s trip at all, but a panicked attempt at self justification by the English Archbishops which has backfired spectacularly.

It is also extremely damaging for African Anglicans.  Those in the frontline West and East African countries are regarded with suspicion locally because of their Western links by the more conservative Muslim and traditional Animist religious believers who are driving the pressure to crack down on morality.  The statements and stratagems of the US church and now the Church of England are used by other religions as a stick to beat African Anglicans with as immoral, degenerate and compromised by their links with Western decadent churchmen.

The English Bishops and Archbishops have given little or no consideration to the impact on the mission of African Anglicans in their own contexts of their actions and statements, and any continued growth of the African church is despite the actions of the American and now of the English leadership.  It is not just that the African Bishops object to being patronised, it is because they feel they are being undermined and betrayed by the Western bishops.  It all too easy for these smug English Archbishops who are unlikely to be attacked in their homes by gunmen, kidnapped in their cars or bombed in their churches to undermine their African brothers.

I would say it has been a pretty disasterous week all round.

February 3, 8:54 pm | [comment link]
7. Katherine wrote:

#6, Pageantmaster, you are absolutely correct about how damaging this is to Christians in Africa, North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, where the cultures of several religions view same-sex behavior as unacceptable and unnatural.  Christianity does, too, but how are local Christians to convince people of that when prominent so-called Christian leaders get themselves air and print time saying otherwise?

February 3, 9:25 pm | [comment link]
8. Jill Woodliff wrote:

Prayers for the Church of England may be found here.

February 4, 7:05 am | [comment link]
9. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Son of man, you are living among a rebellious house. They have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house
Ezekiel 12:2

February 4, 7:18 am | [comment link]
10. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

With regard to doctorategate, David Virtue reports

Conservative bloggers were so shocked by the announcement that there was immediate disbelief that Welby had either not written the announcement or had simply bought into a press release from 815, the Episcopal Church’s national headquarters in New York City.

However, a spokesman from Lambeth Palace wrote VOL confirming that, “the press release was issued with the full knowledge and endorsement of the Archbishop.

I have heard the same from elsewhere.

Those who take TEC’s money and program become their catamite.

February 11, 8:09 am | [comment link]
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