Thursday, 27 February 2014

GAFCON chairman criticises CofE bishops for support of same-sex marriages

The Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, writes in his capacity as Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council to the “Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends”. The letter includes the following passage:

…After the praise that greeted the news that Oxford University is to honour the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States with an honorary Doctorate in Divinity, it was helpful to be reminded of the sober facts in the Statement issued by the Global South Primates Steering Committee last week. It was recognized that ‘the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003’ and the Communion’s London based institutions were described as ‘dysfunctional’.

The breadth of the wide gate can be dangerously appealing as an easy choice, avoiding the need for theological discernment and church discipline. This is why I have already written a response (http://gafcon.org/news/a-response-to-the-statement-by-the-archbishops-of-canterbury-and-york) earlier this month to the Statement of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York about pastoral care for people who engage in same sex relationships.

Sadly, the lack of clarity in that statement about the biblical understanding of such relationships has been repeated in the pastoral guidance issued subsequently by the Church of England’s House of Bishops as same sex ‘marriage’ becomes legal in England and Wales next month. While the Church’s official teaching on marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman is affirmed, it is effectively contradicted by the permission given for prayers to be said for those entering same sex ’marriages’…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 10:27am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

Well, that says it all, really. The HofB are condemned roundly by GAFCON for offering even the tiniest concession to gay couples of offering informal blessings (only at home in Dorking.) Why are the Abp's and bishops so desperate to remain in communion with churches that hold views such as this?
I will say one thing for GAFCON bishops though, they do say what they think, unlike our mealy-mouthed pusillanimous crew.

Posted by: stephen Morgan on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 11:08am GMT

What atrocious hijacking of scripture! There is nothing "honourable, just, pure, lovely or commendable" about this toxic organisation's efforts to cleanse the church and society of homosexual people. It is by their fruit that false prophets are known (Matt 7:16) and the fruit of GAFCON's support of cruel and unnecessary legislation is plain to see. The road to destruction is indeed easy but Jesus calls us to take the narrow gate and the hard road to life.
'In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.' (Matt 7:12)
'Let your gentleness be known to everyone.' (Philippians 4:4)
Rant over :(

Posted by: Drew Tweedy on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 12:05pm GMT

"Why are the Abps and bishops so desperate to remain in communion with churches that hold views such as this?"

Surely it comes down to imperial pride--the notion that Lambeth has a worldwide role and sway.

Which of course must be maintained....

I'm no fan of GAFCON, but if it manages to disabuse the Church of England of such fantasies, then GAFCON will have done not only the Church of England, but the entire Communion, a great and lasting service.

Posted by: Jeremy on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 1:10pm GMT

Meanwhile, in the developed world:

"....nearly one-third of Millennials who left the faith they grow up with told Public Religion Research Institute that it was "negative teachings" or "negative treatment" related to gays and lesbians that played an significant role in them leaving organized religion."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/millennials-gay-unaffiliated-church-religion_n_4856094.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

Posted by: Randal Oulton on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 1:33pm GMT

The more I think about statements like these and what is happening in countries like Uganda, the more I am convinced that we are seeing a twenty first century re-run of the persecution of another minority, namely the Jews, during the Second World War. That time was also characterised by some very un-Christian support for the Nazi 'cleansing' that was taking place.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 6:22pm GMT

As Jeremy says, Stephen, imperial pride plays a large role, but -- and here it gets real weird -- imperialism is mixed with post-colonialist guilt. Canterbury wants the prestige of being first among equals, but doesn't want to impose its views on the victims of Empire. So the Communion stays but Gafcon get to call the shots.

Personally, I feel not a shred of guilt for the actions of my ancestors, nor a desire to be an imperial bossman. If the Gafcon churches demand Communion-wide homophobia as the price of their membership, the price is too high, and it's time for them to go.

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 8:55pm GMT

"The GAFCON movement has been able to act as an instrument of unity in the Communion because it has the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which together give us a clear, faithful and contemporary statement of Anglican identity." - Eliud Wabakula -

This hubristic attempt by the Chair of Gafcon to make a takeover bid for world-wide Anglicanism - on the basis of its own doctrinal purity and literal biblicalism - needs to be resisted, not only by the Church of England, but by all provinces of the Anglican Communion that are concerned for the integrity and well-being of a minority of people who happen to be intrinsically LGBTI-oriented in their sexual make-up.

This statement comes in the wake of the progrom initiated by the Governments of Nigeria and Uganda that have criminalised homosexuals - aided and abetted by the local Anglican leadership. How on earth Abp. Wabakula can reconcile his dismissal of gay and lesbian Christians with the love and mercy of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is simply not worth consideration by thinking people - whether religious or not.

If this means Gafcon Churches separating out from the rest of us; let not our bland acceptance of Wabakula's mistaken rhetoric allow Gafcon to claim the moral high-ground, by presuming the represent the only 'orthodox' view of Gospel authenticity.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 11:33pm GMT

GAFCON will *never* be satisfied, until British and American and Canadian LGBTs, are just as persecuted as Ugandan or Nigerian LGBTs.

The American patriot Patrick Henry, quoting Jesus, is instructive here: quit crying "Peace, Peace!" when there is NO peace. "Give me liberty or give me death" he said. GAFCON wants *my* death. Regretfully, I can live w/ the Greater Anglican Communion's (GAC!) death instead.

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 28 February 2014 at 1:22am GMT

The persecution of gay people in Uganda is terrifying. Parallels with Germany in the 1930s are entirely warranted.

The Church of England has been effectively silent, and such little as it has said has been weak, vague and colluding.

If the Church of England regards mass persecution as acceptable as a price for some vision of post-colonial behaviour more suited to a sixth form common room, or as a price for doctrinal unity, then it needs to read a biography of Pope Pius XII and see how history remembers him.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Friday, 28 February 2014 at 6:20am GMT

I'm really feeling that they have their own journey to make, and we in the First World have ours, so for a while the paths may need to diverge. I have no doubt that off in the future, the paths will meet back up again. And that's not being selfish -- for instance in Canada as Anglicans, we have so many issues to resolve right here at home -- First Nations, disaffected youth, income equality, etc, etc, etc... that could engage 190% of our capacity. For those that need to escape from Africa in the meanwhile, I've no doubt that Canada will provide a safe haven.

Posted by: Randal Oulton on Friday, 28 February 2014 at 6:41am GMT

"For those that need to escape from Africa in the meanwhile, I've no doubt that Canada will provide a safe haven."

Tragically, I have great doubts that England will.

Asylum for people persecuted on account of their sexuality is another national disgrace that the CofE has remained completely silent about. Condoning homophobic killing: the CofE are on your side. Defending victims: the CofE have other things to do, like pissing about discussing palaces. If the fact that "Christians" are more concerned about palaces than murders shows you all you need to know.

Church of England bishops should hang their heads in shame. But they have no shame.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Friday, 28 February 2014 at 9:24am GMT

I agree with JCF. I can live without the Anglican Communion. I can't live with GAFCON because they don't want me to live. No matter how much diplomatic butter they pour over their statements, their actions in Nigeria and Uganda make their intentions quite clear.

Posted by: FD Blanchard on Friday, 28 February 2014 at 1:44pm GMT

FD Blanchard "...their actions in Nigeria and Uganda make their intentions quite clear."

And with the tacit approval of ACNA one could argue.

Posted by: Doug18 on Friday, 28 February 2014 at 3:15pm GMT

"And with the tacit approval of ACNA one could argue. - Posted by: Doug18 on Friday -

And just one more reason why ACNA should not be allowed into the Anglican Communion of Churches - which leaves them free to join GAFCON as full members, not just their spiritual children.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 28 February 2014 at 10:41pm GMT

I wonder what will happen when the leaders of GAFCON realise that the leaders of the C of E simply can't deliver the excommunication of TEC and the Canadian Church, nor the repudiation of Same-Sex marriage and civil partnerships,nor enforce the sort of discipline the GAFCON Primates think is right and proper.
Since facilitated conversations are unlikely to resolve this issue to the conservatives satisfaction, I wonder whether ( unlike 1992) the H of Bishops have a Plan B?

Posted by: Perry Butler on Saturday, 1 March 2014 at 9:06am GMT

"After ten years of ministry together in Worcestershire where Charles was minister of Christ Church Wyre Forest, an Anglican Church plant, Charles and Gillian now live in Nairobi where Charles serves as Archbishop Eliud Wabukala's Officer for Anglican Communion Affairs." - from the Crosslinks website.

Christ Church was in fact a schism from the Diocese of Worcester, where Bishop Peter Selby was seen as tainted by his attitude to gay people in the church. So the Officer for Anglican Communion Affairs is doubtless a useful chap for Abp Wabukala to have around.

Posted by: cryptogram on Saturday, 1 March 2014 at 4:26pm GMT
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