Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth Conference 1998 resolution I.10 revisited

In view of the references now being made to the 1998 conference, and in particular to the adoption then of Resolution I.10, I thought it might be helpful to reproduce the commentary on the latter that I wrote at the time.

The full extent of those reports can still be found on the web, here: Unofficial News from the Lambeth Conference. But to save you ploughing through all of that, I have extracted those parts which relate specifically to the debates on sexuality, and put them into a PDF, which is available here. As you can see, if you are bothered to look, it was far from a straightforward process to agree what emerged.

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Rev Colin C Coward
14 days ago

Thank you, Simon, for posting your commentary on events at the 1998 Lambeth Conference. I’ve been searching for details of the resolution and plenary session all morning. Reading your reports takes me back vividly to the daily chaos that evolved day by day. Changing Attitude was, of course, the group invited to make a presentation to which the majority of the 60 members in the group objected. I’m struck by the similarity between 1998 and today, in which Lambeth resolution 1.10 acts as the fulcrum around which chaos revolves. I’m waiting with excitement for the statement to be issued by… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Rev Colin C Coward
14 days ago

You might have thought that 14 years was long enough to decide how to present this issue to the next Lambeth Conference, over nine years under current leadership, devoting 25% of their time. Of course it proves that absolutely nothing has changed. The Anglican Communion displays serious performance issues. It is on a downward spiral in relevance terms.

Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
14 days ago

Thank you for doing that Simon. I appreciate it. I have just read the reports. What a shambles. Considering the seismic effect that I.10 has had on Anglicanism ever since Lambeth 1998 it shows how a few determined people can almost steam roller their views on others. No wonder Rowan Williams decided that an Indaba process was safer in 2008.

Phil Groves
Phil Groves
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
14 days ago

And the academic research showed how effective it was in enabling conversation. Minds changed. However, the power of the reactionaries was unleashed in the years that followed with campaigns of disinformation.

Helen King
Helen King
14 days ago

Thanks for sharing these reports – which give me the unpleasant sensation of actually being there at the time… Is there a follow-up to what happened to the Kuala Lumpur Statement, which I saw being referenced only a day or so ago?

Last edited 14 days ago by Helen King
Phil Groves
Phil Groves
Reply to  Helen King
14 days ago

The Kuala Lumpur statement was not a product of the South to South Encounter – it was produced at the end of the conference but no one knew why. I have the records of the encounter from the archive in the ACO. What they actually said in the group was far more homophobic, but it was not in the final statement. It was attributed to it in order to give it gravitas. The beginning of the hijacking of ‘Global South’

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
14 days ago

I was only just getting interested in wider Anglican politics in 1998, so this refresher was quite interesting…and disturbing. Based on the reports coming out of Lambeth this time around, it appears we have gotten nowhere in nearly a quarter century. I have reached the conclusion that a global Anglican Communion is a pipe-dream. We would be far better off to simply give up on this fiction and let each province and/or national church make its own arrangements with the provinces and churches with which it can come to agreement on these issues. And I suspect the issues may lie… Read more »

Phil Groves
Phil Groves
Reply to  Pat ONeill
14 days ago

The Issues of climate change are keenly felt in the Communion and many of our provinces have felt direct threat in a way we have only just woken up to. Provinces in the developed world have been painfully slow to respond and to act, but they are waking up. Provinces have also been complaining about the lack of accountability over slavery and colonialism. One indigenous bishop says he keeps walking with Western Bishops despite their racism hoping they can open their eyes to the damage wrought. The driving force on anti-LGBTI rhetoric is often White (see the research by John… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Pat ONeill
14 days ago

1998 vs today re: the Anglican Communion? “Frozen” (the word, not the movie) seems apt.
If I recall, after the 1998 Lambeth Conference, there was talk of walking separately together (or some such). Your first full paragraph has made a lot of sense to me for quite a while. In the name of keeping the Anglican Communion together, GLBT people and women, and their supporters, are asked to sacrifice, while their critics sacrifice nothing.

Adrian F Sunman
Adrian F Sunman
14 days ago

I find the whole business quite depressing. Ultimately it comes down to the type of church which one wants to inhabit. Personally I want to be part of a generous, inclusive, church where everyone is welcome, not a rather exclusive club for the like minded.

Dr John Wallace
Dr John Wallace
Reply to  Adrian F Sunman
14 days ago

How I agree, Adrian. Why the church obsesses with sex (to which I see little reference in scripture) appals me. There is war, hunger, poverty and climate change. These should be our focus as ‘stewards of creation.’ These issues demean the ‘life more abundant’ that Jesus came to bring. Let us preach the Gospel, not petty moralising.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Adrian F Sunman
13 days ago

All are welcome to the church to which I belong. The gospel of salvation through faith in Christ is on offer to all who attend. Welcoming all though, does not mean affirming every action and lifestyle as we seek to live out Colossians 3, putting off the old self and putting on the new self, becoming more Christ like.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Bob
13 days ago

And here we see the problem–referring to same-sex attraction as a “lifestyle,” as though it were akin to wearing a team jersey or hanging out in after-hours pubs. Tell me, Bob, did you choose heterosexuality as a “lifestyle”?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Bob
13 days ago

But Bob, why does this mean that only gay people are required to sublimate their natural God-given nature to qualify for membership of your church? Surely it’s safer for them to stay away.

Phil Groves
Phil Groves
Reply to  Adrian F Sunman
13 days ago

And so do many Anglicans – including those in the global south. Please do not confuse an organisation that is driven by white people that calls itself ‘Global South’ with Anglicanism that stands for indigenous peoples and women resisting genital mutilation that is common in the global south.

Rev Dr Anne Morris
13 days ago

I absolutely despair.
If our bishops can’t say anything positive (‘God is love and those who live in love live in God’, for example) it would be better to say nothing at all. I am deeply, deeply ashamed of the hurt that this soulless, cruel debate will bring.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Rev Dr Anne Morris
13 days ago

I cannot agree with you Anne. I find it shameful that, amidst the widespread outcry against the homophobic processes leading into the Lambeth conference, with one honourable exception the English bishops have chosen to remain silent. Saying nothing is not a neutral act, if saying nothing collides with oppression. Saying nothing is an abdication of their claimed “leadership” role.

Susannah Clark
13 days ago

It’s worth noting (as re-stated in ‘History and Purpose: A Guide to the Lambeth Calls Process’) that: “The bishops come precisely to confer and not to take decisions that are binding on the member churches.” “The instruments [of communion] cannot bind or compel.” Anything that the Lambeth Conference asserts is provisional and only “made real by the decisions of the decision-making bodies of the [autonomous national/provincial] Churches themselves.” It’s worth remembering, for example, that Lambeth 1998 I:10 has never been implemented in the Church of England. Similarly, a re-affirmation of the same does not bind it, because that would be… Read more »

Ronnie Smith
13 days ago

1 pray that the gathered bishops may deal quickly with the oppressive dogma of Lambeth 1:10, which denies the reality of Gender/Sexuality plurality in Creation, and get on with the task of assisting Christ in the urgent task of proclaiming the Gospel (Good News of God’s great Love) to ALL Creation!

Last edited 13 days ago by Ronnie Smith
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