on Wednesday, 6 May 2015 at 8.07 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Anglican Communion
Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon has been interviewed in the Nigerian newspaper, The Guardian.
My Job Is To Help Africa Understand Europe And Europe To Understand Africa, Says Idowu-Fearon
H/T to Episcopal Café who reported on this earlier: An interview with Archbishop Idowu-Fearon
While I appreciate the Archbishop’s wish to build bridges, Africans do not speak with one voice on sexuality. And Anglican views on gender and sexuality have actually changed radically over the past century, not least around contraception: resolutions do not reflect a permanent position nor one that is binding on all churches, though they should take these seriously.
Anyway Resolution 1.10 from the 1998 Lambeth Conference begins ‘This Conference: (a) commends to the Church the subsection report on human sexuality’. This states, ‘We must confess that we are not of one mind about homosexuality. Our variety of understanding encompasses… those who believe that the Church should accept and support or bless monogamous covenant relationships between homosexual people and that they may be ordained… The challenge to our Church is to maintain its unity while we seek, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to discern the way of Christ for the world today with respect to human sexuality.’
Funny, is it not. The church in her scholastic, highly conservative days used to believe that ‘ubi dubium, ibi libertas.’ Where there is doubt of opinion, there should be freedom of practice. Now, here, where there is doubt, unity must be maintained by forbidding any departure from the conservative position.
Lorenzo, not funny at all. Neither side has doubt anymore. Liberals say anyone who doesn’t approve women priests and gay marriage isn’t Christian and conservatives make the opposite claims. How many here think that because African countries have different cultures and opinions on homosexuality, we should live and let live and let them do what they want with homosexuals in their countries? With instantaneous worldwide news and communication, the race is on for a global culture where anyone who disagrees is evil, anywhere in the world, and both liberals and conservatives are pushing for it. The only question is who wins.
Chris, I don’t think it’s funny at all either, just so you’re sure.
“[T]he race is on for a global culture where anyone who disagrees is evil, anywhere in the world, and both liberals and conservatives are pushing for it. The only question is who wins.”
Nonsense. Indulge in false equivalencies all you want, but there is no moral comparison between people who want to marry, and people who want to criminalize those who want to marry, and send them to prison (or worse).
If the Anglican Communion can’t tell the moral difference, then it’s no longer Anglican.
Hint: Who suffers as a result of gay marriage?
From the article “They are members of the church. Even in my diocese, we have had a couple of such cases. We have a psychologist that is working on that person now. That is the attitude of the church.”
The bishop has a psychologist on the job, working on “that person” who presumably is gay. Hm.
This problem doesn’t have to be viewed as liberals vs. conservatives. It can be viewed as those who actively do harm vs. those who wish not to do harm.
His words were more moderate than in the past. It seems he no longer wants to “drive out” non compliant provinces. That’s an improvement.
He thinks he can be a bridge builder to both Europe and America. I hope so. Sadly, there’s a bridge in Michigan where they started building it on both sides and it didn’t meet in the middle!!! Let’s hope the engineering for this bridge is better.
The first step in bridge building to us in TEC is respecting our processes, even if he disagrees with the result. Since our process is highly democratic, a broad range of people are deeply invested in our church and attacks are not going to go over well. It’s easier to convince one person than 2 million.
For the record, our General Convention is coming up where TEC will vote on our budget. Well over $1 million is targeted for ACC. On the blogs (not amongst the delegates) some have called for cutting it. I have called for making it conditional upon the creation of an ACC Human Rights Task Force. I don’t have any pull, but I could see this as extremely helpful for the Five Marks of Mission as well as LGBT rights issues around the world.
“Hint: Who suffers as a result of gay marriage?”
– Jeremy –
The only answer, Jeremy, may be: The marriage partners – from the prejudice of Anglican nay-sayers! However, I guess they will survive!
“because African countries have different cultures and opinions on homosexuality, we should live and let live and let them do what they want with homosexuals in their countries?”
Assumes Africans and homosexuals are mutually-exclusive…which, if they were, I might be inclined to say “live and let Africans live—foreign LGBTs, Just Leave.”
But of course, Africans and LGBTs are NOT mutually-exclusive. African LGBTs are every bit as indigenous as other Africans. Just more vulnerable—the “least of these”. And Jesus said a little bit about what we do for the least of these…
The idea of an ACC Human Rights Task Force is a positive, excellent move, and should be taken up not only in TEC, but by the whole communion
It is needed in every province of the Communion, including the provinces of the U.K.
We still have many ‘frighten Isaacs’ in power, who are afraid of the reality of life, and the full power of God’s unconditional love.
This is going to be a real balancing act for the new Secretary General of the ACC. He has already acknowledged the fact of the ‘Lambert’ Conference and the Archbishop of Canterbury as being the ‘sine qua non’ of membership of the Communion. This would seem to question the continued membership of those Gafcon Provinces – among them his own Nigerian Province – that have ignored these two foundation ACC ‘Instruments of Unity’
This being the case, surely, the remaining members of the ACC that still respect the two Instruments of Unity he commends should be able to come to some accommodation about Same-Sex Marriage – in the very same way that the Church of England, with the explicit approval of the 2 Archbishops, have just moved to accommodate 2 different views of ‘Women’s Headship in the C. of E. by appointing an anti-OOW advocate to be a new Bishop in that Church to cater for his own kind.
What’s sauce for the Golden Goose is surely a similar commodity for the Colonial Gander!
“How many here think that because African countries have different cultures and opinions on homosexuality, we should live and let live and let them do what they want with homosexuals in their countries?”
Seriously? Ok. Why don’t we live and let live and let Confederate Americans do what they want with their slaves?
Here’s a documentary interviewing gay Africans.
There’s a 45 minute video that is available on YouTube, and a Study Guide that can be downloaded. According to the blurb: “Voices of Witness was a challenge to the Lambeth Conference promise to “listen to the experience of gay and lesbian people”.”
I’m not sure that this project could be done now, with the anti-gay and anti-speech laws in place in some African countries.
If for some reason you can’t view the YouTube, then contact me and I’ll try to bring a DVD to the UK when I come later this month. Simon can reach me.
As for the Human Rights Task Force, if you support the idea, then please contact your leadership. Of course the LGBT situation in Africa needs attention, but many, many more areas. In the US, there’s Native American reservations, African American ghettos, etc. TEC is “on it” with the issues, but international attention would help.
In addition to what our governments do abroad, there are corporations perpetrating human rights violations. A UK-US corporation with a headquarters in Denver is crushing indigenous people in Peru, for one example.
No project works without partnership with people on the ground and thus the church is well positioned to make a positive difference. It just takes will. Just.
Wouldn’t it be great to recalibrate the moral compass from bashing each other’s provinces to bringing the Good News to the oppressed?
I gave the wrong link, the Voices of Witness was a series. Here’s a trailer for Voices of Witness: Africa, which apparently isn’t on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I4K9r1rFhY
I’m searching for it. I know it was available in DVD somewhere…
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