Thinking Anglicans

Church of England responds to Orlando shootings

email received at 1.23 pm Monday

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued the following joint statement in response to the shootings in Orlando:

Monday 13 June 2016
For immediate use

“After Sunday’s attack in Orlando as Christians we must speak out in support of LGBTI people, who have become the latest group to be so brutally targeted by the forces of evil. We must pray, weep with those affected, support the bereaved, and love without qualification. The obligation to object to these acts of persecution, and to support those LGBTI people who are wickedly and cruelly killed and wounded, bereaved and traumatised, whether in Orlando or elsewhere, is an absolute call on our Christian discipleship. It arises from the unshakeable certainty of the gracious love of God for every human being. Now, in this time of heartbreak and grief, is a time for solidarity. May God our Father give grace and comfort to all who mourn, and divine compassion to us all.”

Other statements:

Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

Archbishop of Dublin

Bishop of Central Florida (whose diocese includes Orlando)

Numerous other American bishops

Statement from Integrity USA president

Archbishop Foley Beach of ACNA

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Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

But loving *with* qualifications is precisely the position that the Archbishops and bishops of the Church of England have been so firmly teaching all these years.

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

Given the positions the archbishops have taken, their statement, however well intended and even heartfelt it may be, is just not enough, is it?

FD Blanchard
Guest
FD Blanchard

Talk is cheap.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

What a horrific event. Words fail. Today Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) Radio 2 program ‘Shift’ has been playing classical music by composers/arrangers from the GLBTQ communities. A more assertive approach has been taken by one of CBC’s top journalists for whom words don’t fail. Neil MacDonald was formerly CBC TV’s Washington corespondent, and previously Middle East corespondent. His piece is titled: After Orlando, time to recognize that anti-gay bigotry is not religious freedom. I’ve attached a link to his online piece on the CBC website. It should be accessible to readers outside Canada. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/orlando-religion-anti-gay-bigotry-1.3631994 MacDonald writes in part: “Islam may… Read more »

Judith Maltby
Guest
Judith Maltby
Chapelhead
Guest
Chapelhead

What utter hypocrisy from Canterbury and York.

Nathaniel Brown
Guest
Nathaniel Brown

The statement by Canterbury and York leaves me flabergasted by its inadequacy and lack of self-examination. Where were the Archbishops when Islamic extremists were throwing GLBT men off high buildings? Where were they when Anglican churches in Africa were supporting anti-gay legislation and refusing to share the Eucharist with LGBT-supportive churches? Where are they when LGBT clergy and lay need their support in their officially-sanctioned isolation? It’s well that they deplore the horrific violence in Orlando. But what real steps are they taking to fight homophobia? In fact, they seem to be passing by on the other side of the… Read more »

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

A one word reaction: ‘hypocrisy’. A few more words… These words, no doubt sincerely felt, are akin to a segregationist denouncing lynching. Undeniably murdering people because of their sexual orientation is homophobic persecution. Away from the extreme of the spectrum persecution can also consist of such things as denying people employment, or marriage, or physical expression of their sexual orientation; sacking people or refusing them licenses because they are LGBT. Persecution can be bullying, or insisting people must be celibate or labelling them intrinsically disordered or unscriptural or that their marriages aren’t real marriages or cannot be blessed by God.… Read more »

Turbulent Priest
Guest
Turbulent Priest

From Canterbury and York, a bit less would have been much more.

Nathaniel Brown
Guest
Nathaniel Brown
robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

The Churches need to speak out about America’s gun culture. I know good Christian folk in America who believe in carrying arms!

Pam
Guest
Pam

Truly horrific event. America’s gun culture must change. As President Obama noted “America must decide what sort of country it wants to be”. Prayers for all in Orlando at this sad and difficult time.

Daniel Berry NYC
Guest
Daniel Berry NYC

TA must have made a transcription error: the part of the archbishops’ statement calling for repentance for homophobia, especially by church leaders, seems to have been deleted inadvertently.

michael
Guest
michael

I cannot but disagree with most of the comments above. I welcome this statement by the Archbishops and am glad that they have made it. I will not share the cynicism of other respondents and I will accept their sentiments at face value.I sincerely hope in its expressions of shock and horror that it will soon be joined by similar statements from Islamic religious leaders

Nathaniel Brown
Guest
Nathaniel Brown

Michael – I am sure we all welcome the archbishops’ statement, but it is just one more voice in a chorus of similar statements, saying no more nor no less than all the others, no matter how well-meant. Contrast this however, with some of the statements of Pope Francis which have been heard everywhere, even by unbelievers, because they are bold and new. If Canterbury or York had asked for repentance from African bishops who have promoted kill-the-gays bills, or apologized for centuries of persecution of LGBT persons, or taken concrete steps to right the injustices and exclusions that still… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Michael, “I sincerely hope in its expressions of shock and horror that it will soon be joined by similar statements from Islamic religious leaders.” Michael, you may be interested in this article from Voice of America, U.S. Islamic Leaders Strongly Condemn Florida Shooting. See perhaps especially the remarks of Nihad Awad: “How will you stand before God and answer for your crimes against innocent people, thousands of innocent people, Muslims, Christians and other minorities? You do not speak for us, you do not represent us. You are an aberration, an outlaw.” http://www.voanews.com/content/us-muslim-leaders-strongly-condemn-florida-shooting/3373317.html Notwithstanding, the editorial opinion expressed by CBC’s… Read more »

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

According to a story appearing this afternoon (Monday) on the Los Angeles Times website, witnesses said they had seen the gunman in the nightclub before. One witness said he had seen the gunman there at least a dozen times — sitting, drinking, and talking with other patrons. Another witness said that he had exchanged messages on a gay dating and chat app with the gunman for about a year before. There’s certainly a suggestion here that the gunman was a man with same-sex attractions and a significant amount of self-hatred. I take the concerns of the religious leaders expressed above… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

I note with approval that the statement describes the massacre in Orlando as “evil”. This is a word to be used rarely and with extreme caution but is correctly used in this context – it is utterly horrendous what has taken place in Florida and many prayers are being offered and candles lit for the victims of this evil act, for the injured and for the many bereaved families, The Archbishops could have remained silent but they chose rightly to speak out and issue this heartfelt and moving statement. They have also both come out in favour of remaining within… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

In the face of such an evil and horrific event, anyone – whatever their doctrinal views on sexuality – may understandably recoil with horror and feel immense sorrow for all those injured or bereaved. Admittedly I will listen particularly to leaders of TEC who have championed the dignity of LGBT people. But even people who don’t agree with gay and lesbian sex still have hearts, still feel, still recoil from evil, still react with human emotions. Who knows… perhaps events like this will move some people to look again at the consequences of erasure, of marginalisation, of hatred. I prefer… Read more »

Barry
Guest
Barry

I too had noticed the curious omission of any expression of repentance in the statement from the Archbishops. Also, I could not find a whisper of a commitment from them to spearhead at the next General Synod the movement for full equality for gay people in the Church, including equal marriage.

I greatly respect the Office held by bishops, but until their actions accord with their words I will be sparing in my respect for the office holders.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

No, archbishops.

You don’t get to condemn homosexuality as a sin that’ll send people to burn in hell forever, then denounce hate. Your postion’s inherently hateful, and you’re some of the worst offenders. Your use of the P.C. “LGBTI” to mask yourselves is especially noxious.

I have far more respect for a person who owns their position, however odious: this two-faced equivocation just rubs salt in the wounds you’ve helped create.

Andrew Lightbown
Guest
Andrew Lightbown

Given that the Primates of the Anglican Communion agreed as one ‘Walking Together’ to reject homophobic injustice and violence a response a denominational wide response would seem appropriate.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“Contrast this however, with some of the statements of Pope Francis which have been heard everywhere, even by unbelievers”

If you look on Pink News you will find strong criticism of the Pope’s statement too.

I pass that on as information only: at this time I personally don’t wish to comment on the statements made by faith leaders.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

For those harping on the American gun culture, something like 85 percent of Americans want gun control. Why don’t we have it? The enormous money that the NRA and other right wing organizations have – they have bought the entire Republican Party and some Democrats. It is a dreadful and oppressive situation. Some of us have hopes in the next election, not just because Hillary supports gun violence prevention legislation, but also we’ll get new members on the Supreme Court and likely a Democratic Congress. But still, the money is huge.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Given that the ABC and ABY have been attacking the dignity of American LGBTQI Episcopalians for a couple of decades (plus their discrimination at home), I can only see their statement as a political necessity in the UK. Their rhetoric and actions contribute to the climate of hate. It messages that we are less than fully human children of God and therefore makes us targets of bullies and worse. About the American situation, our LGBTQI people are more vulnerable than those in the UK. Our hate crime and discrimination laws aren’t as strong as yours (in many places). When we… Read more »

Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente
Guest
Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente

I agree with James Byron, the compassion from so many sounds hollow, especially ACNA and Co: you gay folks are toast for ever, but shame someone shot you to get there. No soul searching. Not the shadow of a doubt that the gospel they preach may feed the kind of culture that leads to this. I feel a little sick.

Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente
Guest
Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente

and yes, I know the shooter was a Muslim fundie, same applies to Muslim leaders who constantly bemoan violence but never question its source. Only Bp Colton sounds genuine.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

The words and actions of Canterbury and York continue to appall me, and are offensive to me.

They are not alone, but they have contributed to the problems of lgbt+ around the world, as I have cause to know, personally, and devastatingly over the past six decades.

Yes, I know Welby and Sentamu have not been in post that long, but they are successors of and participants in a long tradition of oppressing us.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

I see the Foley-Beach also can’t bring himself to say the words lesbian and gay or use the initials lgbti. Shame on him.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“love without qualification”

Love without qualification: permitting people to marry.

Love with qualification: campaign furiously and continuously to prevent people from marrying.

I don’t think Welby wishes active harm to my LGBT friends. He doesn’t wish them well, either.

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

And now it reveals the killer was gay and frequented the club.. I think a lot of false assumptions have been made on the site.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“I sincerely hope in its expressions of shock and horror that it will soon be joined by similar statements from Islamic religious leaders”

Vigils across the US have included Imams and Muslim leaders expressing their shock, condolences, and support for the victims, their families, and the LGBTQI community. The media might not be showing that, but my FaceBook feed does.

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

I am appalled at the lack of charity and even vitriol in some of the above comments – from people who would want to call themselves Christians. I would wish to say ‘thank you’ for and endorse the post by Michael at 11.50 pm on 13 June. Re Barry’s comment (10.04 am on 14 June) that he “could not find a whisper of a commitment from [the two archbishops] to spearhead at the next General Synod the movement for full equality for gay people in the Church, including equal marriage”, he should know that no formal debate on marriage is… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

RIW: Almost ALL self-identifying “good Christian folk” in the US are gun carriers. Christian is not synonymous with “good Christian folk”, the latter typically being hard-core right-wing “folk”.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Dr. Primrose: at this time, I don’t believe there is any evidence that the shooter self-identified as same-sex attracted. Those who recall him from gay websites, don’t recount “participation” — just having a look.

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

Just a question: all the bishops whose comments are included are from the Anglican Communion, except Foley, and I wonder why TA decided to include him and not for example comments by RC bishops (I am sure there must be) or leaders of other churches …..surely TA isn’t going along with ABC to include ACNA’s bishop as an “Anglican Communion primate”????

Kate
Guest
Kate

Society is divided. A growing part of society believes LGBT people are utterly innocent and suffer unfair persecution. This part of society believes in tolerance and justice. Another part, but probably a diminishing part, is agnostic on LGBT issues or, supportive of gay rights but not trans rights. A third group sees LGBT people as responsible for many of society’s ills. They believe in judgement and segregation. Of course there is a certain bias in how I have presented that, but it is necessary I think to make a point. I think the issue has now moved beyond the rights… Read more »

Fr Andreq
Guest
Fr Andreq

“And now it reveals the killer was gay and frequented the club.. I think a lot of false assumptions have been made on the site.”

Apart from being an entirely untrue statement, perhaps you would like to explain what if this was true, these ‘false assumptions’ might be?

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“A growing part of society believes LGBT people are utterly innocent and suffer unfair persecution….Another part, but probably a diminishing part, is agnostic on LGBT issues…A third group sees LGBT people as responsible for many of society’s ills”

Which category would you put (a) the Archbishop of Canterbury (b) the Archbishop of York and (c) the Archbishop of Nigeria? I’d assert 2, 3 and 3, respectively.

Kurt Hill
Guest
Kurt Hill

I have no objection to Foley Beach of ACNA using a prayer from the American Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer (1979). The prayer is found in the office of The Burial of the Dead: Rite II. In fact, since it was taken specifically from the very touching section, At the Burial of a Child, may we infer Abp. Beach to say that lesbians and gay men (and other gender/sexual minorities) are all Children of God—a loving God “whose wisdom is beyond our understanding” in making us all who we are? If so, many of us would appreciate it being… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

“I am appalled at the lack of charity and even vitriol in some of the above comments – from people who would want to call themselves Christians.” David, people were speaking out in sorrow and fear. Fear is a big part of it. If one is laughed at or abused most days on the street – and that is the reality for some of us – there is a constant fear that it may turn from sniggering, rude gestures and abuse to a knife or a gun. If you haven’t lived with that – have you? – it is hard… Read more »

Barry
Guest
Barry

David, thank you for your comment (June 14th: 11.45.) I hope that my remarks did not come under your proper concern about the tone of some messages on this site. Given the extent to which the Christian Church has been and is complicit in inflicting suffering and injustice on gay people, I persist in thinking that some token of repentance for that from Their Graces would have been welcome. And if words of sympathy are to have any credibility they must be accompanied by actions, so a commitment from our leaders to push for equal treatment for all Church members… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“I am appalled at the lack of charity and even vitriol in some of the above comments – from people who would want to call themselves Christians.” It is very Christian to speak truth to power. The truth is that the actions of ABC and ABY have been extremely harmful to LGBTQI people in the UK and the US. It is not particularly “Christian” to give leaders a pass on injustice. The people needing the compassion here are the victims, families, friends and loved ones of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, with strong sensitivities to the LGBTQI community. Given that… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“And now it reveals the killer was gay and frequented the club.. I think a lot of false assumptions have been made on the site.” The target was a gay club, whatever the reason. And it is a horror. I agree that the situation with the shooter is very complex. He got married twice and was charge with domestic violence with both of them. This was not a man who was comfortable with a gay identity. He was not particularly religious, according to an ex-wife and some friends. He claimed, to co-workers, that he was a card carry member of… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

It must be nice to be so insulated from the concerns and lives of a group, that you can afford to disdain and denigrate their righteous anger and reproof at murder and the complicity of the church to the society that created it.

Kate
Guest
Kate

There is a BBC news item about internalised homophobia. It is a theory which would add weight to the view expressed by some that negative attitudes about LGBT people expressed by faith leaders can have disastrous consequences.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36534693

JCF
Guest
JCF

Whether the Orlando murderer was “just casing the joint” (Pulse nightclub), or gay (w/ issues) or ANYWHERE in-between those two poles, is not clear. It’s known he pledged himself, and his terrorist act, to ISIS (an Islamist sub-cult which includes horrific violence to LGBT people as an intrinsic agenda). It’s also clear that the Orlando murderer committed his terrorist atrocity in a State, Florida, in which LGBT people are officially second-class citizens (they have no legal employment/accomodations protections). And that this second-class status of LGBT people is due, overwhelmingly, to the contempt of ***Christians*** for them. Kyrie eleison. May the… Read more »

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

If you oppose same sex marriage it does not necessarily mean that you are homophobic. The vast majority of Christendom, and mainstream denominations do not agree with same sex marriage. As do some gay people.

However my Church for instance teaches that we should love and treat with respect persons with same sex attraction, and discrimination is only allowed in legitimate areas like marriage. Under no circumstances would the Catholic Church ever condone a massacre of persons as occurred at Orlando….As I pointed out the circumstances here are complex and I think people here should be careful in their judgements.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I write as a Roman Catholic. I believe it is widely understood today, that historically, and right up to our lifetime the RC church and its hierarchies and religious orders has presided over, connived in, or actively caused deaths too many to be numbered, as well as other human rights abuses. In Ireland alone, the bodies of babies have been found in and under convents, and Magdalen Laundries (and other church institutions ) where unmarried mothers were effectively held in slave labour, and their infants, died apparently, of neglect, malnutrition and the with-holding of medical treatment of the most basic… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“my Church for instance teaches that we should love and treat with respect persons with same sex attraction, and discrimination is only allowed in legitimate areas like marriage.” You need to know, Robert, that the phrase “same sex attraction” is HIGHLY offensive. The science and our self knowledge are in sync here; we gay people are created as we are. I would say by our very own Creator in our Creator’s Image. Of course, I would say that marriage is not a legitimate area of discrimination. But I’m not too concerned with Rome, just Anglicans, as we believe in continuing… Read more »