Comments: News from the Big Blue Tent (4)

Living, as I do, in a far-flung part of the Anglican Communion (in New Zealand), it is great to read Bishop David Walker's comments on the daily activities at the Lambeth Conference.

What a wonderful demonstration of the diversity of our Church: to feature the Melanesian Brothers trasporting the Book of the Gospels in a canoe. It reminds one of the love with which the Martyred Bishop John Patteson delivered the Good News of the Gospel to the Melanesian Islanders - not so very long ago. His martyrdom was described as the action of one whose life was taken by those for whom he would have willingly given it!

And those Indaba Groups! Why on earth do not the African Christians of the Global South use this mode of discussion to tease out the inclusivity of the Gospel in their own territories? Perhaps their bishops and archbishops are not ready to include their clergy and laity in the discussion.

The Bishop of Colombo has put his finger on the need for diversity in cultural perceptions of our common human sexuality and gender issues. God happened to have made us all so very different. Perhaps the reality of our differences may be God's way of contextualising the need to exercise the grace of the Beattitudes enjoined on the infant Church by Jesus Christ.

Meanwhile, the Pope has been apologising for the more serious problems of sexual predation among it's priests here in the Southern Hempisphere.
Why does not the world see predation as the real sexual problem - both in the Church and the world? Gays are not all sexual predators; as are not all heterosexuals. When will the distinction be made? Let's hope that Lambeth will be open to real dialogue on these issues.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 11:56pm BST

"The gospel procession, featuring melanesian religious carrying the book in a model boat whilst singing and dancing, will no doubt feature in everyone’s list of images from Lambeth 08. It was stunning."

Interestingly, several of the masses at World Youth Day in Sydney (w/ the Pope) have featured something similar.

Posted by JCF at Monday, 21 July 2008 at 3:00am BST

"The Bishop of Colombo has put his finger on the need for diversity in cultural perceptions of our common human sexuality and gender issues."

Up to a point.
But we must be very careful not to dismiss the plight and struggle of our African lgbt brothers and sisters by leaving them to their fate in African prisons because of our acceptance of supposed African cultural differences.

At the very least we must continue to campaign against demonising homosexuals and against treating them with a criminal harshness and a hatred that dehumanises them and those who preach and act against them, and that puts people's lives in real and actual danger.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 9:46am BST
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