Friday, 2 March 2007

InclusiveChurch on General Synod and on Nigeria

Press Release 2 March 2007
A good day for the Church of England. A bad time for the Church of Nigeria

Members of the General Synod are to be congratulated on the tone and quality of the debates on Wednesday 28th February. In the first substantial debates on issues around human sexuality since the infamous “Higton debate” in 1987, contributions from all positions were characterised by honesty, charity and generosity.

InclusiveChurch hopes that the debates reflect a new understanding and respect for differing theological positions about lesbian and gay people within and outside the Church. We hope too that this new understanding will bring about a greater sense of cohesion between different parts of the Church so that we can now better preach and show the gospel of Christ’s love to those we serve.

John Ward, a member of General Synod and chair of the General Synod Human Sexuality Group, said ‘There are no winners or losers. I am delighted that we can now be in dialogue without fear and that lesbian and gay Christians are affirmed as full members of the Church. I believe that through prayer and communication something changed yesterday in Synod’

As a Church we are once again called to “to engage in an open, full and Godly dialogue about human sexuality…and acknowledge the importance of lesbian and gay members of the Church of England participating in the listening process as full members of the Church.” We hope that process of dialogue will include prayer, together, by people with differing understandings of the issues. Those of us who support a more inclusive position do this with deep respect and love for the word of God in the Bible. That love must be at the heart of the listening process so that all sides can engage with trust and confidence.

The motion on Civil Partnerships was amended to “note the intention of the House [of Bishops] to keep their Pastoral Statement under review”. Clearly the present arrangements are not working. We hope that a review of the Pastoral Statement will begin soon.

We view with concern the demands placed on the Episcopal Church by the Primates, especially as we are very aware that there are lesbian or gay clergy at all levels of the hierarchy of the Church of England, some of whom have entered into Civil Partnerships.

In the context of Synod’s debates we deeply regret the continuing support of the Church of Nigeria for legislation to criminalise lesbian and gay people. This appears to be a breach of Lambeth 1.10 which restates the need to resist homophobia in all its forms. We encourage all who have contact with the Church of Nigeria to make their concerns clear. The Anglican Communion does deep damage to its mission if it is seen to be supporting legislation which is in clear breach of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights. A letter on this from 250 American faith leaders can be found at http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/02/27/nigeri15425.htm

Giles Goddard, Chair, IC

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 2 March 2007 at 12:42pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: InclusiveChurch
Comments

eh?

did you notice Lambeth 1.10 has been fully reinforced by the synod and Tanzania - giving it more authority than it had just a few weeks ago?

Posted by: NP on Friday, 2 March 2007 at 12:56pm GMT

"Fully reinforced"? It seemed to me to be a rather lackluster level of support in GS. It was sort of a we're-not-yet-ready-to-ditch-it response.

Posted by: ruidh on Friday, 2 March 2007 at 3:24pm GMT

Lambeth 1.10 has been fully reinforced by the synod and Tanzania - giving it more authority than it had just a few weeks ago?

Posted by: NP on Friday, 2 March 2007 at 12:56pm GMT

NP

some simple math for you :--

0+0 = 0

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 2 March 2007 at 4:27pm GMT

ruidh - remember the chairman is the same ABC who was in Tanzania......

Posted by: NP on Friday, 2 March 2007 at 5:24pm GMT

Ah, yeah, the chairman: the one who teaches the collective line and refuses to give his personal view (as in his blocking comments to the excitable signs and wonders reporter in Tanzania), and now finds the collective line undergoing some kind of movement underneath back on home turf.

Could be interesting if he ends up having to threaten to exclude himself from the instruments of communion. I look forward to the subtlety of the argument.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 12:57am GMT

Laurence: you think 0+0 is "simple math" but at Cambridge we learned it is actually much more complex than many realise.....

But you are right in a way: TEC got zero from Tanzania - apart from a foreign-appointed bishop to give oversight to faithful Anglicans....

Posted by: NP on Monday, 5 March 2007 at 10:14am GMT

Thanks for the principia mathematic Oxbridge trump card, NP. We are not worthy, we are not worthy.....

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Monday, 5 March 2007 at 5:04pm GMT

You're welcome, Mynster - sometimes one feels liberals think all "conservatives" are stupid so one cannot help making the sort of silly point I made!

Anyway, for those like Laurence who thought my view on Lambeth 1:10 above was maybe a little stupid, I recommend a read of the latest letter from the dear old ABC to his Primate mates....

Because the ABC is not stupid, it seems that (despite his past musings as an academic) he is giving Lambeth 1:10 a lot of authority and also not willing to tolerate delays (eg to 2009) or fudged answers - because he wants to save the AC and sees it is not worth sacrificing it for VGR et al

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 6 March 2007 at 7:41am GMT
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