Friday, 11 December 2009

Los Angeles and Uganda

PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES AND UGANDA

The LGBT Anglican Coalition warmly welcomes the election of two new suffragan bishops for the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles, and notes:

  • that the election has been carried out with a close regard to the norms and constitution of that church;
  • that its transparency contrasts favourably with the still opaque processes by which Church of England bishops are appointed;
  • that the candour of the candidates about their personal lives and the maturity of the church they serve is a glowing example to the Church of England where such openness is not possible in the present climate of denial and double standards..

It is most encouraging to see that the elections have been conducted without regard to the sexual orientation of the candidates. The election of a lesbian bishop, following on so soon after the consecration of the new Bishop of Stockholm, gives heart to the many LGBT clergy and lay ministers in churches around the world.

In the light of this, we are gravely disappointed to see the Archbishop of Canterbury rush out a statement within twelve hours of the announcement suggesting that the Episcopal Church should not confirm this election. His repeated intervention in the affairs of that province contrasts embarrassingly with his complete unwillingness to speak publicly about the Church of Uganda bishops’ support for what is universally seen as oppressive and homophobic legislation in that country. That support is in direct contravention of recent resolutions by the Lambeth Conference and the Primates’ Meetings.

If the Archbishop is to retain any credibility at all he needs to reconsider. This double standard of justice is frankly perverse. It appears to most people in Britain to be a disgraceful acquiescence in the demands of homophobic pressure groups both in England and in the Communion.

LGBT Anglican Coalition partners look forward to working with the Diocese of Los Angeles and all others across our Communion in the service of Christ who are committed to a church which includes and welcomes all.

The LGBT Anglican Coalition - including
Revd Benny Hazlehurst - Accepting Evangelicals
Revd Colin Coward - Changing Attitude
The Clergy Consultation
Jeremy Marks - Courage
Mike Dark - The Evangelical Fellowship of Lesbian and Gay Christians
Canon Giles Goddard - Inclusive Church
Revd Sharon Ferguson - Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
Revd Dr Christina Beardsley - Sibyls

The LGBT Anglican Coalition is a new network of groups working for the full and equal inclusion of LGBT Christians within and beyond the Church of England.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 11 December 2009 at 10:52pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England
Comments

Please add my name to any list opposing +Rowan's statement about bishop elect Glasspool. I am shocked he cannot openly oppose what is happening to our Christian brothers and sisters in Uganda. Una

Posted by: Una Kroll on Saturday, 12 December 2009 at 7:23am GMT

Although some may have found the rather mealy-mouthed utterences of ABC rather irksome as of late, I don't think it is altogether fair to place the blame squarely at the doors of Lambeth Palace.

There appears to be a bit of a power vacuum in the House of Bishops at the moment, with several sees lying vacant, several where the incumbent has announced their retirement rendering them lame ducks, several who have not yet taken up their posts, a few on extended leave and others who perhaps feel that they don't have enough clout with the REAL power behind the throne.

Under the circumstances, it is understandable that ABC may feel caught between a rock and a hard place, or having to run with the hare and hunt with the hound, or facing the Judgement of Solomon - whichever idiom you fancy.

So my advice to the Coalition would be to focus on more local campaigning to speed up the insurrection.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Saturday, 12 December 2009 at 7:41am GMT

Former USA President Harry Truman allegedly had a sign on his Oval Office desk: The buck stops here.

There is plenty of worldwide support for Rowan Williams to lead vividly in big tent Anglican directions, and even to speak forcefully against the antigay violence (and the flat earth ideas) upon which Uganda has based its new rabidly evil proposed law. Desmund Tutu runs around saying we have room on the planet for all of us to thrive, despite our hot button differences. Rowan Williams? Not so much.

So far as local Angelenoes go, I see no reason whatsoever that they should feel inhibited in replying to a far distant archbishop who bothers to demean and attack them for trying to do God's local Los Angeles diocese business in this very important matter of discerning new bishops.

Tea, sympathy, prayer for Rowan Williams would be better predicated on him actually changing for the better, instead of this unseemly meddling which presumes flat earth notions about sexual orientation and human nature as closed truths, let alone as the sole foundation of our global social community and local or global church life.

I seem to recall a New Testament parable, something about a rich man who could not forgive his peasant's threadbare indebtedness, yet was bold enough to go to the king asking that his own glorious indebtedness be forgiven. Rowan rather constantly follows suit, erring in ill advised global Anglican directions. Rowan Williams freely trashes TEC for the alleged sin of being inclusive and non-violent towards queer folks; and says the mildest things about antigay violence justified by local African or Asian Anglican teachings, if he mentions it at all. This leaves standing in embarrassed and spot lighted radiance, the silly conclusion that God is more upset about a lesbian bishop in Los Angeles (or one in Stockholm?) than about antigay violence in Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, and closer to USA home, Jamaica.

Rowan is reaping and will reap what he is so busy, sowing. We who sow to the winds of flat earth antigay prejudice will most likely reap the whirlwinds of antigay violence. Okay, if RW lacks effective raw power as such; he still has the bully pulpit of Canterbury. And he loses what he even does have, fade into silence. Note, the proposed new Ugandan law not only targets the queer folks, but anybody who would dare to give them a cup of cold water on a hot, hot, hot Ugandan day. Scorning Los Angeles is sport for Rowan Williams, and he surely will garner the treasure upon which he has so set his misguided dark Canterburgensian heart as that oddly skewed and prejudiced sort of Anglican Archbishop.

Alas. Lord have mercy.

Posted by: drdanfee on Saturday, 12 December 2009 at 9:26pm GMT
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