Thinking Anglicans

Sudan bishops statement

Updated six times Originally published at 6.27 pm

Full video of entire press conference now available from ENS, see below.

The Bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan have issued a statement, which is copied in full below. In addition, the Primate of ECS held an impromptu press conference in which he stated that the Bishop of New Hampshire should resign.

Jim Naughton has reported on this here, and

Ruth Gledhill has reported on it here. Note this now includes a video of the archbishop’s remarks

Also reported by Marites Sison here.

And by George Conger Lambeth rocked as Archbishop calls on Robinson to resign.

And by Cherie Wetzel here.

Now, reported by Riazat Butt in the Guardian Gay bishop should resign for good of the church, says African archbishop

And by Ruth Gledhill in The Times Sudanese Anglicans demand gay bishop Gene Robinson resigns

And also by Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Gay bishop Gene Robinson ‘must be sacked’ to save church from schism

And Mary Frances Schjonberg for Episcopal News Service has Sudanese primate wants Robinson’s resignation

Note ENS has also has a full video recording of the entire press conference. Find it here. Navigate to the two videos by date: 07/22/08

And on Wednesday morning by Robert Pigott for the BBC Gay bishop Robinson ‘should quit’

And the Daily Mail Dismiss gay bishop, say Third World church leaders

Original Statement of the Bishops of ECS

In view of the present tensions and divisions within the Anglican Communion, and out of deep concern for the unity of the Church, we consider it important to express clearly the position of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS) concerning human sexuality.

We believe that God created humankind in his own image; male and female he created them for the continuation of humankind on earth. Women and men were created as God’s agents and stewards on earth We believe that human sexuality is God’s gift to human beings which is rightly ordered only when expressed within the life-long commitment of marriage between one man and one woman. We require all those in the ministry of the Church to live according to this standard and cannot accept church leaders whose practice is contrary to this.

We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS. We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada in consecrating a practicing homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships. This has not only caused deep divisions within the Anglican Communion but it has seriously harmed the Church’s witness in Africa and elsewhere, opening the church to ridicule and damaging its credibility in a multi-religious environment.

The unity of the Anglican Communion is of profound significance to us as an expression of our unity within the Body of Christ. It is not something we can treat lightly or allow to be fractured easily. Our unity expresses the essential truth of the Gospel that in Christ we are united across different tribes, cultures and nationalities. We have come to attend the Lambeth Conference, despite the decision of others to stay away, to appeal to the whole Anglican Communion to uphold our unity and to take the necessary steps to safeguard the precious unity of the Church.

Out of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we appeal to the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada, to demonstrate real commitment to the requests arising from the Windsor process. In particular:
– To refrain from ordaining practicing homosexuals as bishops or priests
– To refrain from approving rites of blessing for same-sex relationships
– To cease court actions with immediate effect;
– To comply with Resolution 1:10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference
– To respect the authority of the Bible

We believe that such steps are essential for bridging the divisions which have opened up within the Communion.

We affirm our commitment to uphold the four instruments of communion of the Anglican Communion: the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council; and call upon all Provinces of the Communion to respect these for the sake of the unity and well-being of the Church.

We appeal to this Lambeth Conference to rescue the Anglican Communion from being divided. We pray that God will heal us from the spirit of division. We pray for God’s strength and wisdom so that we might be built up in unity as the Body of Christ.

The Most Revd Dr Daniel Deng Bul
Archbishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and Bishop of Juba

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Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

As I noted in a comment to an earlier thread, the controversy is not one in which the churches in the western democracies (US, Canada, Australia, etc.) are seeking to impose their view of sexual morality on the Africans, but rather one in which the Africans seek to impose their view on the western democracies. This letter merely confirms that view. BTW, as anyone ever asked Archbishop Deng Bul his opinion regarding the actions of the government of Sudan in Darfur? It occurs to me that he ought to have bigger (and more local) fish to fry than the bed… Read more »

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
13 years ago

Sudan has more problems and tragedy than just about any other place on earth. I completely fail to see how whether Gene Robinson is or is not the Bishop of New Hampshire is going to do anything to relieve those problems.

Jason
13 years ago

It’s worth noting that in Sudan, homosexuality is not only criminalized, it is punishable by death. Sudan’s Sharia-influenced law offers the death sentence for the first offense for a man and the fourth for a woman.

Will the bishops of Sudan seek to “transform unjust structures of society” and speak out against these laws? Maybe the West and the Global South can make some mutually agreeable concessions here.

John
John
13 years ago

Oh, so sad.

Perhaps this is the moment when it (= the present Lambeth Conference or the whole thing?) starts to unravel. I do hope not.

Simon Sarmiento
13 years ago

How on earth could it be criminalized, when according to the Archbishop it does not exist there:

from _Episcopal Cafe_

Asked whether there were homosexuals in Sudan, Deng said, “They have not come to the surface, so no, I don’t think we have them.”

Doxy
Doxy
13 years ago

“It’s worth noting that in Sudan, homosexuality is not only criminalized, it is punishable by death.””

Well now we know why there are no homosexuals in the Sudan….

JPM
JPM
13 years ago

Does anyone else detect the fine hands of Duncan, Minns, and the other usual suspects here?

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

The whole thing needs to unravel – how can anything remotely worthwhile exist when these sort of poisonous views are part of the whole? This is just simple homophobia, reflecting a fundamentally homophobic religion – conservative evangelical Christianity.

Treebeard
Treebeard
13 years ago

Appalling tosh.

Sickening abnegation of resposnsibility for human rights and well-being.

Nothing better to do or say ….

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

“Does anyone else detect the fine hands of Duncan, Minns, and the other usual suspects here?”

Nooo,noooo, surely not!

John
John
13 years ago

No, Merseymike. How easy it is for you, with your monofocal, manichaean perspective on (seemingly) everything, to say this. In other respects, some of these Sudanese bishops are very good people (I know one of them): far, far better than you (certainly) or I (certainly).

You have no interest in preserving Anglicanism. Some of us do. It’s impossible – oh, so obviously impossible – to make any clean divisions between ‘liberals’ and (bigoted) ‘conservatives’.

Get a life.

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

JPM “Does anyone else detect the fine hands of Duncan, Minns, and the other usual suspects here?”

Well, something certainly smells fishy. David Virtue announced on Sunday that this Sudanese statement was coming, therefore his conservative circle certainly knew. It was also released to him first via ‘intermediaries’ yesterday.

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

While the Sudanese Primate is certainly opposed to homosexuality, he’s no friend of GAFCON (refusing to personally attend) or supporter of ‘border crossings’ either. He also opposed the Lambeth boycott and felt his church wasn’t consulted by CAPA about it, and denies suggestions of ‘bribery’ by TEC (saying those African conservatives who accuse them of it are being ‘hypocritical’). See the interview with him, at the end of June, reproduced in a forum post here:

http://www.madingaweil.com/forums/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=37808&sid=8f4acef3fa1e16261b19e75721081a26

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Deacon Charlie Perrin
13 years ago

It might appear to some that the Episcopal Church of the Sudan is placing the making the Gospel subservient to the Koran, and is also accommodating popular local mores.

This certainly isn’t the Jesus I know. (With apologies to +Bob Pittsburgh).

Dirk Reinken
Dirk Reinken
13 years ago

In fairness to Archbishop Deng, The ECS also issued a statement on Sudan as reported by Episcopal Cafe “Finally: Just as I am writing, the Church of Sudan has released two statements, one is a statement on the genocide in Darfur, the precarious situation of the church in Sudan and the church’s hope that the Communion will support the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005.” That said, I think that TEC and ACC would argue that our respect for the authority of Scriptures and the Gospel message it contains has moved us to take the positions we… Read more »

Norah Bolton
Norah Bolton
13 years ago

I can respond only with an excerpt from something I am reading on leadership written by Margaret Wheatley “Life relies on diversity to give it the possibility of adapting to changing conditions. If a system becomes too homogenous, it becomes vulnerable to environmental shifts.Where there is diversity in an organization, innovative solutions are created all the time; just because different people do things differently. Almost always in a diverse organization, the solution the organization needs is already is already being practised somewhere in that system. If leaders fail to encourage diverse ways of doing things, they destroy the system’s capacity… Read more »

Rachel
13 years ago

So much for sitting together at God’s table as equals. How can this Bishop turn his brother away? Jesus Himself shared bread with those that His society, the ‘scripturally faithful’ deemed unclean.

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
13 years ago

“Does anyone else detect the fine hands of Duncan, Minns, and the other usual suspects here?”

When you look at this item in the list of demands the presences of those hands becomes even more apparent.

“- To cease court actions with immediate effect;”

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

John; get real. Anglicanism as a united group is finished. It is dead. There is simply no way of reconciling people of such utterly different views. I am quite sure that conservative religionists are quite capable of deciding who is liberal and who is conservative – even if you are not! People might be ‘good’ but they are also homophobic – so, make your choice. Accept their homophobia of you think your Anglican communion is worth keeping. I think its a worthless, pointless, outdated waste of time and energy. I said many years back that this would end in a… Read more »

JPM
JPM
13 years ago

>>>When you look at this item in the list of demands the presences of those hands becomes even more apparent.

“- To cease court actions with immediate effect;”<<<<

That is exactly what tipped me off.

Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

It has been suggested that homosexuality does not exist in the Sudan – such a patently obvious unreality, as is the request by the Archbishop of the Sudan that Bishop Gene should resign. What Abp Deng is suggesting – no doubt with the support and urging of the fundamentalist element present at Lambeth – is that TEC and the Church of Canada has no right to specific justice goals which brought forth the need to acknowledge the presence of homosexual – as well as heterosexual -clergy and people within the diverse mixture that is Christianity in their territories. This cultural… Read more »

D. Smith
D. Smith
13 years ago

I disagree. The problem is that western churches are trying to impose their views. Not only on the Africans, but on other westerners, as well!!! Anyone that disagrees with TEC’s policies on homosexuality is at risk of being called prejudice. What difference does it make to be in a church that claims it tolerates all opinions if it legislates policies that are offensive and uscriptural. I think churches in American should worry about increasing their membership and relevance rather than attempt to tell the Sudanese what their concerns should be. That is the western arrogance that has caused division in… Read more »

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“Anyone that disagrees with TEC’s policies on homosexuality is at risk of being called prejudice.”

How terrible for you, D. Smith. What a risk!

{Sarcasm/Off—tell it to Davis Mac-Iyalla!}

I’d be angrier at the Archbishop of the Sudan, if I didn’t pity him: as Bob Dylan sang so long ago, “he’s only a pawn in their game”.

God bless +Gene Robinson!

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

Isn’t it curious that no-one has balked at the presence, as full Lambeth participants, of Old Catholic bishops ++Joris Vercammen (Netherlands) and +Joachim Vobbe (Germany), both of whose churches have endorsed the blessing of same-sex unions?

Maybe TEC should quit having to put up with anymore cr*p and join the Union of Utrecht instead. Heck, maybe we all should.

robroy
robroy
13 years ago

Pat writes, “As I noted in a comment to an earlier thread, the controversy is not one in which the churches in the western democracies…are seeking to impose their view of sexual morality on the Africans, but rather one in which the Africans seek to impose their view on the western democracies.” But that is precisely what Christians are suppose to do, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” What ABp Deng Bul states should be obvious. What is done in California affects Christians trying to carry out the Gospel mission in… Read more »

Paul H.
Paul H.
13 years ago

To all (including the furious part of myself): please, please, please – don’t prop up the headlines by being drawn into intemperate exchanges. Power neutralising, facilitated processes are often uncomfortable for those unwilling to listen and compromise, and raising anger is the best weapon they have to disrupt such processes. Surely none of us need lose hope or give way to combative instincts? Despite the seemingly carefully-timed media-bombs, the overwhelming impression of the communication coming from Lambeth (Kent) is one of Christian love. A love despite differences. A love that will not let us go. There is much that we… Read more »

John Omani
John Omani
13 years ago

Shame to see the whole show unravelling so soon. So much for indaba.

Smith – the Episcopal Church isn’t telling the Sudanese what to be; as is blindingly obvious from the Sudanese statement, it is the other way round. The arrogance of most of the African bishops lies in their inability to accept any provision in the communion for those who hold legitimate alternative positions, more sophisticated for certain than throwing out the banal ‘Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’ conceit. It is that arrogance which is tearing the communion apart.

BillyD
BillyD
13 years ago

I’m not a particular fan of Bishop Robinson, but this brings the arrogant meddling of the Foca Faction to new heights. And yes, the line about the lawsuits certainly is telling.

John Omani
John Omani
13 years ago

Shame to see the whole show unravelling so soon. So much for indaba.

Smith – the Episcopal Church isn’t telling the Sudanese what to be; as is blindingly obvious from the Sudanese statement, it is the other way round. The arrogance of most of the African bishops lies in their inability to accept any provision in the communion for those who hold legitimate alternative positions, positions more sophisticated for certain than throwing out the banal ‘Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’ conceit. It is that arrogance which is tearing the communion apart.

RNF
RNF
13 years ago

Execrable and wounding statements from a Bishop and a Province that should know better. The devil is alive and laughing in Darfur and the Sudan. This is not about west versus south or any other direction. This is about fear and violence towards homosexual Christians and the poor and marginalized in our world. Garret Keizer said it best in June Harpers: “and wouldn’t it be nice….if for once, just once, we could achieve redemption without blood, if the empty cross would mean not only the resurrection that gives life but a vison of life beyond this constant, dismal, stupid need… Read more »

Pat O&apos;Neill
Pat O&apos;Neill
13 years ago

“I think churches in American should worry about increasing their membership and relevance rather than attempt to tell the Sudanese what their concerns should be.” I am unaware of any American church (TEC or otherwise) dictating sexual mores to the Africans, in Sudan or elsewhere. Rather, TEC has said “this is what we believe to be faithful and righteous,” with no attempt to force others to follow their path. And, if you are referring to my comment regarding Darfur, then I ask you, what Christian could look upon that situation and worry more about sexual mores in a place 4000… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
13 years ago

D, Smith posted: “The problem is that western churches are trying to impose their views. Not only on the Africans, but on other westerners, as well!!! Anyone that disagrees with TEC’s policies on homosexuality is at risk of being called prejudice. What difference does it make to be in a church that claims it tolerates all opinions if it legislates policies that are offensive and uscriptural. I think churches in American should worry about increasing their membership and relevance rather than attempt to tell the Sudanese what their concerns should be. That is the western arrogance that has caused division… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

If, Robroy, ‘credibility’ equals the promotion of homophobia, then the problem is with countries and religions which regard that as ‘credible’. If this ‘Archbishop;’ was any sort of leader he would stand up against Muslim fundamentalists, not ape them and try and put the blame on other people. I have no sympathy for him or his wailing. He and his country and its inhabitants have brought their troubles upon themselves – and now he bites the hand that feeds him. The one thing I do disagree with TEC on is their far too rose-tinted view of Africa and its corrupt… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

The high and exclusively straight righteousness – some would prefer to say, self-righteousness – which delights and rests at such ease in mistreating queer folks, up to and including various global iterations of the death penalty – is its own demonstration of sheer brute, violent prejudice. Such traditional views, religious or secular-cultural, are the main exhibit in our continuing suspicion that this gospel is not good news, neither for the queer citizens it so eloquently condemns and dooms to death – death death, and all those version of living death like silence and invisibility and disenfrachisements in work or housing… Read more »

Pat O&apos;Neill
Pat O&apos;Neill
13 years ago

“Pat writes, “As I noted in a comment to an earlier thread, the controversy is not one in which the churches in the western democracies…are seeking to impose their view of sexual morality on the Africans, but rather one in which the Africans seek to impose their view on the western democracies.” But that is precisely what Christians are suppose to do, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”” This presumes–as you always do, robroy–that YOUR interpretation of scripture is unalterably correct and that any interpretation that disagrees with you is not… Read more »

Roger
Roger
13 years ago

This incident also shows that despite the design of this year’s Lambeth conference, certain individuals will still attempt to promote their political agenda disregarding the indaba structure for their own personal grandstanding. Expect to see a lot more of this!

This is yet another example of one diocese attempting to impose rules on another.

Hoosierpalian
Hoosierpalian
13 years ago

Echoing what Paul H. had to say…my home diocese of Indianapolis (TEC), the Diocese of Brasilia (Brazil), and the Diocese of Bor (Sudan)have been companion dioceses for much of the past decade. Sudanese attitudes towards homosexuality are no secret to those of us active in global missions in the Diocese of Indianapolis, and yet our relationship continues. The Bishop of Indianapolis and the Bishop of Brasilia are liberal to moderate on the issue of people in committed same-sex relationships, and yet our Sudanese companions have not decided that our bishops’ stance is a deal-breaker for them. If, after the release… Read more »

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
13 years ago

Poor man, at best, only 16% of the people in the pews in the UK are likely to agree with his sentiments in this most unfortunate of statements.

I wonder if this might be one of the moments where the Sudanese (if not the FOCAs) overplayed their hand.

Leonardo Ricardo
13 years ago

A Sudanese gay man gives an account of what life is like in Arab Africa where homosexuality is intolerated. October 27, 2004: I am Arab, Sudanese national and I am writing to you with regard to the homosexuality in Sudan. In Sudan a kiss can cost you your life. First of all to begin with, I must confess I do not have the word expression to express to you the horror and the fear I am going through. This is my best friend I am grieving about, it’s all happened very quickly, I didn’t had the chance to say good… Read more »

Steve Lusk
Steve Lusk
13 years ago

“It will give them the upper hand to kill our people.”
So if we only stand shoulder to shoulder with our Moslem brothers in oppressing homosexuals, the mullahs will give us a pass on all our other errors, such as the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and his death on the cross?

David R. Lyon
David R. Lyon
13 years ago

++ Daniel Deng Bul might consider making statements Re: the Genocide in Darfur – for beginners. Sticking ones nose into another provinces business has not hindered the African Primates at this juncture , I doubt they will stop now… It occurs to add…IMHO , Bul , Akinola & company still believe that Gays wake up one morning and say, ” Hey,,,,I think I’ll be Gay the rest of my life” Being Gay is not a lifechoice , it is one of those genetic differences that is rampant in every species. And until the African Primates understand this basic of all… Read more »

John D
John D
13 years ago

Yes,the devil is indeed “alive and dancing in Darfur.” The travesty that this prince of the communion, head of a province in one of the most God-forsaken places on earth,has the audacity to demean not just +Gene, but all gay people, makes me want to throw-up.And all of the reactionary “media” voices lap up the kool-aide he sells.

Feed my sheep.

Ann
Ann
13 years ago

Abp of Sudan opposed to homosexuality and wants Gene to resign – this is news??

Tom Anderson
Tom Anderson
13 years ago

Compared to many of the comments and arguments I have had the misfortune to have read on other sites such as the Anglican Mainstream Forum, I find this Bishop’s letter to be reasonable and grace filled in his context. He gives some insight to the difficulties this situation has placed him in in his cultural perspective. Perhaps we, in cultures where battles for equality have been won, need to remember the road that brought us here and how ugly those battles were and still are in many places and realize that we are demanding these people make a quantum leap… Read more »

S Huston
S Huston
13 years ago

Interesting that in April Deng said, “The Episcopal Church of the Sudan believes that God created humanity in his image, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, culture, sex or otherwise, having the same values, rights and dignity,” he said. “The Episcopal Church will work hard to eradicate ignorance and assist in the support of the rights of the poor and oppressed, and to remove injustice.”

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_96547_ENG_HTM.htm

This latest has at least one inclusive American parish very confused as he visited them last year and happily took their money home with him.

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
13 years ago

The test of charity in Lambeth is how warmly they stand up for the victims of people like this Sudanese bishop, who blandly accepts the execution of his gay brothers.

“some of these Sudanese bishops are very good people (I know one of them): far, far better than you (certainly) or I (certainly).”

Very good people have been known to mouth racist and antisemitic views in public, when no one took reponsibility for checking them.

Peterpi
Peterpi
13 years ago

First off, I thank Thinking Anglicans. They did a great job covering GAFCON, they’re doing a good job with Lambeth. D. Smith, no one is telling the African bishops or provinces what to do. They don’t like gay people? I feel sorry for them, but it’s their path to follow. Nobody is stopping them. I resent the African provinces telling TEC what to do. It’s all fine and dandy for Archbishop Williams to talk about conservatives’ pain, but what about the pain of gay people and their treament in some parts of Africa, and the brutal language conservatives use to… Read more »

ginny
13 years ago

For me, the tipoff is the puzzling “Two Adams” remark, which sounds suspiciously like the “Adam and Eve/Adam and Steve” meme.

I’m from the Diocese of Chicago, where the archbishop has been welcomed as a friend for years. This pronouncement is going to puzzle a lot of people here.

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
13 years ago

Indaba was obviously too much for this hot-headed bishop. Could he not listen for a few days at least?

And what a listener to his own flock he must be is he thinks that none of them are gay.

Simon Sarmiento
13 years ago

MJ made the following comment yesterday but unfortunately on the wrong thread, so I am copying it over now: In relation to the Sudanese bishops’ statement, a commenter on SF has pointed to statements the Primate of Sudan made in an interview he gave at the end of June, which is reproduced on a forum here – http://www.madingaweil.com/forums/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=37808&sid=8f4acef3fa1e16261b19e75721081a26 In it he makes the following statements, which show that, while opposed to homosexuality, he cannot be said to be aligning with GAFCON and those advocating schism: On the lack of consultation with, and sidelining of, ECS by CAPA “…he does not… Read more »

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