Thinking Anglicans

Anglican Priest Says Homophobia Kills

Changing Attitude Ireland press release

Anglican priest, Canon Giles Goddard – chair of Inclusive Church England – said in a sermon today (Sunday 30 January) in Trinity College Dublin:

“You may have heard that a Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, was bludgeoned to death in his home in Uganda. His funeral was on Friday. At his funeral, the officiant – who was an Anglican lay reader – ranted against homosexuality. And at the end of the service the villagers refused to bury his coffin. I think it’s important to be clear about this; homophobia kills and any church that preaches intolerance is contributing to the very real and deadly consequences of homophobia.”

He went on to say that:

“Two things need to happen to ensure the continued health of the Anglican Communion. First, that we need to be clear about the implications of the refusal by some conservative provinces to engage with Communion processes; this Primates Meeting and the Anglican Covenant. The implication is that the processes set in place in an attempt to placate them – the moratoria– are to all intents and purposes defunct, and should be quietly forgotten. Which is not surprising, because they were legalistic responses to a legalistic approach to the Gospel.

Secondly, having done that we need to find a way out of the absurd stalemate we are in over human sexuality. We need as a Communion to find a way to recognise that there are a great many Anglican and Episcopalian Christians whose faith and life, and the faith and life of those around them, is deeply enriched by their same-sex relationships. That these relationships are undoubtedly blessed and hallowed in the sight of God. A way which recognises differences of opinion; which does not force those who disagree to abandon their beliefs; but which recognises and celebrates the ways in which the love of Jesus is expressed in the world. Here we are in Ireland, close to a living example of what’s possible in extremely complicated issues with flexibility and care. I do not believe that something similar isn’t possible within the Anglican Communion. It’s time to find that way.”

The full text of this sermon can be found at this page.

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Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
13 years ago

Brilliant. This man should be a Bishop

13 years ago

Also jolly good. So good that even British liberals are at last opening their mouths and speaking truths.

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
13 years ago

I hope some of the primates reflect on Giles Goddard’s thoughtful sermon.

Michael Russell
13 years ago

And even if it turns out that he was not murdered because he was gay, the behavior of the Anglican Church’s representative at his funeral and the refusal to bury him were acts of violence against the living and the dead.

People die, apparently hatred of them doesn’t.

Una Kroll
13 years ago

That is the saddest news I have heard in a long time. What has happened to a brave witness who suffered murder is appalling. What has happened to his body now. How can any church – whatever its beliefs about sin are, accept this kind of behaviour from its official representatives and fellow Christians. Thank God for GHiles Goddard and all who speak out about such appalling news. And what, pray, are the Primates doing about it? ‘Turning the other cheek’ OK, Our Lord, said, but I think He’d have cradled the dead man’s coffin and buried it with his… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
13 years ago

Alas, the C of E is in a worse position on the day of judgement* than Uganda and the most openly anti-gay Churches, because to whom (so) much is given, much will be required.

The bishops and liberal establishment of the C of E have failed us terribly, over many decades.

* today

Michael it was an anti-gay hate-fuelled murder.

Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

Canon Giles’ sermon was a pretty good representation of the values of jesus Christ in the gospel. It’s a timely reminder of the awesome responsibility of the Christian Churches to bring ‘sight to the blind, to raise up the fallen and to tell the Good News of God’s Love for ALL God’s chidren – without discrimination.

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