Friday 08 August 2008
In response to the recent coverage of the correspondence dated back to 2000, The Archbishop Canterbury has made the following statement:
In the light of recent reports based on private correspondence from eight years ago, I wish to make it plain that, as I have consistently said, I accept Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference as stating the position of the worldwide Anglican Communion on issues of sexual ethics and thus as providing the authoritative basis on which I as Archbishop speak on such questions.
That Resolution also recognises the need for continuing study and discussion on the matter. In the past, as a professional theologian, I have made some contributions to such study. But obviously, no individual’s speculations about this have any authority of themselves. Our Anglican Church has never exercised close control over what individual theologians may say. However, like any church, it has the right to declare what may be said in its name as official doctrine and to define the limits of legitimate practice. As Archbishop I understand my responsibility to be to the declared teaching of the church I serve, and thus to discourage any developments that might imply that the position and convictions of the worldwide Communion have changed.
The Bishop of Durham and 18 other bishops have written a letter to The Times which begins:
Sir, As bishops in the Church of England, we wish to protest in the strongest possible terms at what we regard as a gross misrepresentation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.