Friday, 26 June 2015

Archbishop of Canterbury responds to Church of Nigeria

In April, we reported the appointment of a new Secretary-General at the Anglican Communion Office. See here, here, here, and also here.

On 30 April the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) published a letter concerning this appointment.

…The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) as a Province is a founding member of GAFCON/FCA, and subscribed to The Jerusalem Declaration, 2008. The Most Rev’d Josiah Idowu-Fearon’s statement: ‘I have never supported the law in Nigeria that criminalizes the gay community and I will never support it,’ clearly indicates that he is not in accord with the theological and doctrinal posture of the Church of Nigeria. His acceptance of the post of ACC General Secretary neither received the approval of the Church of Nigeria, nor does it in any way affect the Church of Nigeria’s theological posture on the issues of homosexuality and gay movement. Thus, the Most Rev’d Josiah Idowu-Fearon represents himself at the ACC, and not the Church of Nigeria.

He has taken an early retirement from his Episcopal responsibilities in the Church of Nigeria with effect from 01 July 2015. We wish him every blessing.

The ACC, the general public and the International Community of the Religious should please note the stand of the Church of Nigeria on the Most Rev’d Idowu-Fearon’s personal acceptance to serve as ACC General Secretary.

Today, the Archbishop of Canterbury has published this Response to the Church of Nigeria on Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon [emphasis added]

…The Archbishop of Canterbury’s attention has been drawn to a statement forwarded to him from the Office of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, on the above subject. This statement was first posted on the Church of Nigeria website April 30, 2015.

The appointment of the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Office (ACO) is made by the Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) with the approval of the President of the Standing Committee, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It is an individual appointment which follows a due process of advertising, short listing and interviews. In the advertising process emphasis was placed on giving it the widest possible publicity. For instance, in addition to putting it on the ACO website and the Church Times, the advertisement was sent to all Primates and Provincial Secretaries to encourage their members and others to apply. The latter was done to reach all parts of the Communion.

Thirty-one applications were received, spread through all continents, and included candidates from varied disciplines and backgrounds. Five Bishops from around the Anglican Communion applied. The interview panel was an international mix of laity and clergy, including a Primate. The role of the Archbishop of Canterbury is by regulation limited to approving the name put forward by the panel. In support of this he met with each of the shortlisted candidates.

Archbishop Justin Welby said: “I am delighted that the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon emerged as the clear appointee from this transparent process. This highly competitive process has produced a Secretary General who is an eminent scholar with an international track record of reconciling people, especially of different faiths. It is very good news that he comes from the largest and one of the most vigorous Provinces of the Communion.”

Archbishop Fearon’s view on the criminalisation of people of same gender attraction is fully in line with Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 26 June 2015 at 12:27pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

"Archbishop Fearon’s view on the criminalisation of people of same gender attraction is fully in line with Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference."

We can take it then that the Archbishop of Canterbury is declaring that the view of the Anglican Church of Nigeria is NOT fully in line with Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

Posted by: Paul Richardson on Friday, 26 June 2015 at 3:15pm BST

Why is ++Justin commenting on this?
Why does he feel he needs to?

Posted by: Rich on Friday, 26 June 2015 at 6:02pm BST

Paul, you might think that. But His Grace could not possibly comment!

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 26 June 2015 at 8:44pm BST

As someone who was highly skeptical of Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon's appointment, based on problematic past statements and a chilling reference to a Nigerian gay who's now "in therapy for it," my heart is gladdened that +Josiah has spoken out clearly in opposition to the jail the gays laws. It is good to see that ACC leadership is not in alignment with human rights violations.

MLK thought that the first order of business was to stop the persecution, the love could come later.

🎉 💕 🎉 💕 🎉 (Marriage equality)

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 26 June 2015 at 8:50pm BST

Well, this is probably a good thing although personally very uncomfortable for Archbishop Josiah. He is to be an international civil servant and as such display impartiality. if the Church in Nigeria thought he was there to push their agenda, it would be far more serious for the Anglican Communion and possibly also for Archbishop Josiah who may have felt pulled in two directions.

Posted by: Susan Cooper on Friday, 26 June 2015 at 11:28pm BST

"The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) as a Province is a founding member of GAFCON/FCA, and subscribed to The Jerusalem Declaration, 2008. The Most Rev’d Josiah Idowu-Fearon’s statement: ‘I have never supported the law in Nigeria that criminalizes the gay community and I will never support it,’ clearly indicates that he is not in accord with the theological and doctrinal posture of the Church of Nigeria."

Let that sink in a minute. This amounts to a proclamation that it is the OFFICIAL position of GAFCON/FCA, that the gay community SHOULD be ***criminalized***.

On a day when the Supreme Court of the USA has stated that the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to marry for same-sex couples, GAFCON-affiliated ACNA (et al GAFCON affiliates) says those same-sex couples should be *arrested*. For those who think TEC should be blase' when ACNA tries to take Episcopal property, consider the uses that property would be put to.

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 27 June 2015 at 1:42am BST

Its London Gay Pride Parade today, we are celebrating and using the occasion to create awareness about the persecution and violence attacks on LGBT people in Nigeria.
LGBT Nigerians are tired of living under anti-gay laws. They need help to challenge and litigate against the Nigeria draconian anti gay laws.
The Most Rev’d Josiah Idowu-Fearon is not the only Nigeria Bishop that is not in favour of the law in Nigeria that criminalizes the gay community, we hope that others will begin to take the bold steps by speaking out publicly.
We also call on Nigerian theologians and scholars at home and abroad to begin to come out and publicly interpret the bible teaching’s on a more generous understanding that oppose draconian anti gay laws and violence.

Posted by: Davis Mac-Iyalla on Saturday, 27 June 2015 at 2:44pm BST

JCF: the Church of Nigeria, to its shame, supports criminalizing LGBTs. Neither GAFCON nor ACNA have taken a position on this issue. That they haven't opposed criminalizing LGBTs is to their shame. But to say it's there official position that LGBTs should be criminalized is an overstatement.

Posted by: Paul Powers on Sunday, 28 June 2015 at 4:40pm BST

It is not an overstatement, however, to say that there are GAFCON members who support these draconian laws. That alone is cause for deep concern.

Posted by: Cynthia on Monday, 29 June 2015 at 7:01am BST
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