related news story by Ruth Gledhill Break-away bishops could undermine truce on gays
One of the signatories, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Right Rev John Packer, said: “This is a strong statement of support for listening to the experience of lesbian and gay Christians.
“Many lesbian and gay Christians, rightly or wrongly, feel that the primates’ statement did not emphasise the need to emphasise them in the same way that the bishops of the Church of England did at our recent General Synod. We wanted to make it clear that we had in no way reneged on that promise. Sometimes I feel that people are saying they want to listen, when in fact they have already made their minds up.”
The following letter appears in Monday’s edition of The Times, signed by the bishops of Salisbury, Chelmsford, Leicester, Ripon & Leeds, St Albans and Truro.
Sir, We are encouraged by the commitment of the primates of the Anglican Communion to “the underlying reality of our communion in God the Holy Trinity” whilst engaging in dialogue and listening, in relation to the issues which have “obscured” that communion. The communiqué issued at the end of their week-long meeting in Newry (report and leading article, February 26) recommends actions which will allow that dialogue to continue and articulates the deep bonds of affection which continue to unite us.
We do not believe that the different responses of our sister churches to lesbian and gay people are of such significance that we should break the bonds of communion. We welcome the positive steps which will now be taken to engage in dialogue with lesbian and gay people. This call has been repeated by successive Lambeth conferences and we will do all that we can to facilitate that mutual listening throughout the Communion. We assure lesbian and gay Christians of our commitment to the principle of the Lambeth conference that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.
We remain in full sacramental fellowship with all the churches of the Anglican Communion, including those of Canada and the US, and we seek to remain in full communion with all of them. We also clearly state our continuing solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the global south.In a world ravaged by the effects of poverty, war and disease our communion must seek to serve the whole human family.
We assure the Archbishop of Canterbury of our support for him in the ministry with which he has been entrusted and we offer him our love, our fellowship and prayers.