In addition to the press release from Lambeth Palace issued earlier today, Ruth Gledhill reported yesterday on her blog that Rowan Williams has recently written this in response to this LGCM Open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury following the Tanzanian Primates meeting Feb 2007:
‘I don’t think there was a chance of getting an agreed statement out of the Primates on this subject at the moment. I don’t take any pride in that, but it’s a fact.’
She mentioned this in the context of the Listening Process dossier:
Peter Akinola… has given an interview to Philip Groves, who head[s] the listening process for the Anglican Communion, in which he makes it clear that he is fully behind the draconian anti-gay measures currently going through Nigeria’s legislature.
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) statement in that dossier, which can be found here, says:
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has therefore strongly opposed the developments in the Episcopal Church (USA), the Church of Canada and the Church of England. The Primate has called for the Church of England to be disciplined within the Anglican Communion for its response to the Civil Partnership Act.
In Nigeria the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2006 is passing through the legislature. The House of Bishops has supported it because we understand that it is designed to strengthen traditional marriage and family life and to prevent wholesale importation of currently damaging Western values. It bans same sex unions, all homosexual acts and the formation of any gay groups. The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria has twice commended the act in their Message to the Nation.
And another quote:
The Primate of all Nigeria has said “Our argument is that, if homosexuals see themselves as deviants who have gone astray, the Christian spirit would plead for patience and prayers to make room for their repentance. When scripture says something is wrong and some people say that it is right, such people make God a liar. We argue that it is a blatant lie against Almighty God that homosexuality is their God-given urge and inclination. For us, it is better seen as an acquired aberration.”
Many people, when commenting on the dossier, have made specific reference to the Nigerian entry.
Changing Attitude issued a lengthy statement which includes:
“The Archbishop’s concern for situations where the Church is seen to be underwriting social or legal attitudes which threaten proper liberties may be taken as code for the situation in Nigeria. The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has used high ranking Anglican officials to persuade the Government to introduce a new bill banning same-sex marriage and extending sanctions against any lesbian or gay social or political activity. The Church continues to support the proposed legislation despite international reaction against the Nigerian Government.
“Changing Attitude Nigeria and England have alerted the Communion to the active support being given by Archbishop Akinola and senior Church officials to the bill. The bill extends sanctions against lesbian and gay people to the extent that all social activity will become illegal. As we have repeatedly pointed out, this would make any bishop who met with and listened to a lesbian or gay Anglican subject to arrest and imprisonment. The Church of Nigeria is working actively to ensure that the listening process can never happen in Nigeria. We hope the Archbishop of Canterbury’s concerns for the legal attitudes which threaten proper civil liberties will be communicated directly to Archbishop Akinola.
The Living Church has Provinces’ ‘Listening Process’ Reports Published:
In contrast to the submission by The Episcopal Church, the report submitted by The Church of Nigeria views homosexuality as an “abominable deed.” The report notes that the House of Bishops in The Church of Nigeria has supported a proposed state law which if approved by the Nigerian legislature would, among other provisions, ban same-sex unions, the formation of homosexual advocacy groups and “prevent wholesale importation of currently damaging Western values.”
Ekklesia wrote Archbishop of Canterbury says churches must be ‘safe’ for gays:
In what will be seen as a reference to the situation in Nigeria where Anglican Archbishop Akinola is backing legal measures which would oppress gay and lesbian people, Rowan Williams said; “I share the concerns expressed about situations where the Church is seen to be underwriting social or legal attitudes which threaten these proper liberties. It is impossible to read this report without being aware that in many places – including Western countries with supposedly ‘liberal’ attitudes – hate crimes against homosexual people have increased in recent years and have taken horrifying and disturbing forms.
and also there is Gay Christians appeal to international community over repressive laws.
Among the blogs:
William Crawley has Primate of homophobia?
Tobias Haller wrote They Will Never Learn
Fr Jones wrote Anglican Centrist 18 – The Listening Process
Jim Naughton has ABC kinda sorta speaks out in a muted and extremely qualified sort of way
Scott Gunn has Rowan says church must be a “safe place”
Not too much has Nigerian church condemned by its own words
Fr Jake has The Listening Process: Reports from the Provinces
Jared Cramer has Lambeth Ringing Hollow