Thinking Anglicans

Nottingham: ACC-related press releases

Inclusive Communion, an international umbrella body for several groups, issued a press release about the Listening resolution, which can be found here.

LGCM and its Anglican Matters subgroup issued a press release which takes a somewhat different tack. As it is not yet on the LGCM website it is reproduced here, below the fold.

The American Anglican Council issued these:
ECUSA Shameless in Its Defense of a New Gospel
Anglican Consultative Council Endorses Primates Regarding ECUSA

Statement from LGCM
Tuesday 28 June 2005

The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) will launch a wide policy review in the light of recent developments within churches that serve many of its members: “While some churches are moving to a more inclusive position with regard to their lesbian and gay members, others are moving in the opposite direction.” said General Secretary, the Revd Richard Kirker today.

Deep divisions are opening between Christian communities in the West and their co-religionists in many parts of Africa and Asia, often within the same denominations: “While these divisions are many, including over divorce and remarriage, women¹s ordination and how to read Holy Scripture, homosexuality as the presenting issue has highlighted the cultural and theological differences between us” said Mr Kirker.

The current debate within the Anglican Communion and the election of Joseph Ratzinger as the Pope has sharpened the divide. The Revd Anthony Braddick-Southgate, Chair of Anglican Matters (the Anglican Caucus within LGCM), says he regrets the decisions taken by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Nottingham last week that effectively hand over a significant measure of control of the Anglican Communion to doctrinal and biblical fundamentalists.

Citing the ACC¹s decision ostracise to the American and Canadian Churches and to let the Primates of all 38 Anglican Provinces join the ACC Mr Braddick-Southgate said he believed this would not only encourage the move to a more fundamentalist position but also put the present diversity in the Communion at risk. He had harsh words for the decision to discipline the American and Canadian churches: “I have no doubt this decision will both encourage the more homophobic elements of our society while making the church look ridiculous to most sensible people.”

“Anglican Matters is supporting the call for a radical review of our strategy. If the suggestions contained within the Windsor Report are implemented Anglicanism will fossilize. They have set the bar for change so high as to make it impossible for those who wish to work for a fully inclusive church to be able to achieve their goals” he said.

The Windsor Report has suggested that changes within Anglican doctrine and practice should proceed only if they have the approval of the vast majority of Anglican Provinces and be pleasing to our ecumenical partners. It has largely gone unnoticed that in the case of some of our partners with which we are in communion (ie, the Communion of Porvoo Churches) that their discipline and doctrine in this area has more in common with the Episcopal Church of America and the Anglican Church of Canada than it does with the Church of Nigeria or the Church of England. And we note, with gratitude, that some Churches (ie the Scottish Episcopal Church) have declined to endorse the Windsor Report.

Mr Kirker said that those Western Churches that have continued and increased their homophobic assault on lesbian and gay people over the last decades have seen an increasing decline in their membership: “You cannot make the Good News of Jesus Christ dependant on forcing people to accept something they perceive to be a lie, they are able to see for themselves that lesbian and gay people and their relationships are not ‘intrinsically evil’”.

LGCM values being able to work in partnership with all those who are also striving to make our Church more inclusive and who are explicitly prepared to challenge homophobia within and outside the Churches. However, in the light of the sustained and well-funded campaigns by traditionalists and conservatives LGCM is now going to review how those partnership are working, and identify how they can be improved and strengthened. “Lesbian and gay Christians are not going to engage in fruitless, repetitive pious debate while their church leaders attempt to rekindle the bonfires of hate. Our constituency are looking to us for a lead ­ and we must be seen to be in a position that upholds the holiness of our sexuality and the sanctity of our relationships and gives no quarter to those who abuse or defame us or seek to reverse the gains we have made in civil society and within faith communities,” said Mr Kirker today.

The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) will now be consulting with its membership, as part of its ongoing Strategic Review, and working with other interested groups to develop a new approach to those churches determined to continue to persecute and un-church their homosexual members: ³We see no point in further cooperation, through an increasingly discredited and vague “listening process”, with forces determined to see our exclusion; no purpose is served in talking to those who have already repeatedly declared themselves deaf to our experience and witness. There are different ways of approaching this issue; our opponents have seen this as a “war”. “We are going to have to wake up to the reality they have forced upon the People of God. In the face of this relentless hostility we have to be ready to act prophetically, and be willing to take the risks associated with fermenting the breakdown of the Anglican Communion since it has reached the point of becoming an obstacle to the Gospel under its current leadership. We will work to preserve the historic Anglican values of diversity, where necessary by confronting the Communion with its injustices” said Mr Kirker.

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J. C. Fisher
19 years ago

Uff da. Sounds like Father Kirker’s channelling *you*, MerseyMike.

I, on the other hand, continue to hope for a miracle: God changed Saul of Tarsus’s heart, and I believe God can do the same for +Akinola (or certain regulars on this site . . . of course, I pray *my* sinful heart will be ever-more conformed to the Holy Spirit, too! Amen.)

19 years ago

I’m not actually a member of LGCM, strangely enough, but I find myself in full agreement with them as opposed to the national group which I am a member of!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x