Kenyan, Ugandan primates respond to letter on sexuality

[Anglican Communion News Service] A second Africa primate has issued a response to a recent letter by the archbishops of Canterbury and York which recalled Anglican Communion leaders’ “commitment to pastoral care and friendship for all, regardless of sexual orientation.”

In his response, Archbishop of Kenya Eliud Wabukala said, “Christians should always show particular care for those who are vulnerable, but this cannot be separated from the whole fabric of biblical moral teaching in which the nature of marriage and family occupy a central place.”

Both Wabukala and Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali — in a statement issued the previous day — stressed their intention to “uphold” the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 which states that “homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture” and that the conference “cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same-sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

Both primates called on Welby and Sentamu to do the same.

The public statements from both Archbishops can be read below in full.

A RESPONSE TO THE STATEMENT BY THE ARCHBISHOPS OF CANTERBURY AND YORK

This week, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York sought to remind the leadership of the Anglican Communion and the Presidents of Nigeria and Uganda of the importance of friendship and care for homosexual people.

Christians should always show particular care for those who are vulnerable, but this cannot be separated from the whole fabric of biblical moral teaching in which the nature of marriage and family occupy a central place.

The Dromantine Communiqué from which the Archbishops quote also affirmed (Clause 17) the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 which states that ‘homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture’ and that the conference ‘cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions’.

Yet earlier this week, the English College of Bishops accepted the recommendation of the Pilling Report for two years of ‘facilitated conversation’ because at least some of the bishops could not accept the historic teaching of the Church as reaffirmed in the Lambeth Resolution.

Indeed, in making the case for such a debate, the Pilling Report observes ‘In the House of Lords debate on same sex marriage, the Archbishop of York commended that the Church needed to think about the anomalies in a situation where it is willing to bless a tree or a sheep, but not a faithful human relationship.’  The anomaly only exists of course if it really is the case that a committed homosexual union can also be Christian.

The good advice of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York would carry much more weight if they were able to affirm that they hold, personally, as well as in virtue of their office, to the collegial mind of the Anglican Communion. At the moment I fear that we cannot be sure.

Regrettably, their intervention has served to encourage those who want to normalise homosexual lifestyles in Africa and has fuelled prejudice against African Anglicans. We are committed to biblical sexual morality and to biblical pastoral care, so we wholeheartedly stand by the assurance given in the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution that those who experience same sex attraction are ‘loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.’

May God in his mercy grant that we may hold to the fullness of his truth and the fullness of his grace.

The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala

Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman, GAFCON Primates Council

31st January 2014

*****

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali Comments on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the Church of England’s “Pilling Report,” and the Open Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

30th January 2014

The Church of Uganda is encouraged by the work of Uganda’s Parliament in amending the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to remove the death penalty, to reduce sentencing guidelines through a principle of proportionality, and to remove the clause on reporting homosexual behaviour, as we had recommended in our 2010 position statement on the Bill. This frees our clergy and church leaders to fulfill the 2008 resolution of our House of Bishops to “offer counseling, healing and prayer for people with homosexual disorientation, especially in our schools and other institutions of learning. The Church is a safe place for individuals, who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing.”

Accordingly, we are grateful for the reminder of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to fulfill such commitments as stated in the 2005 Communique of the Primates Meeting held in Dromantine, Northern Ireland.

We would further like to remind them, as they lead their own church through the “facilitated conversations” recommended by the Pilling Report, that the teaching of the Anglican Communion from the 1998 Lambeth Conference, from Resolution 1.10, still stands. It states that “homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture,” and the conference “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

It was the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada’s violations of Lambeth 1.10 which caused the Church of Uganda to break communion with those Provinces more than ten years ago. We sincerely hope the Archbishops and governing bodies of the Church of England will step back from the path they have set themselves on so the Church of Uganda will be able to maintain communion with our own Mother Church.

Furthermore, as our new Archbishop of Canterbury looks toward future Primates Meetings and a possible 2018 Lambeth Conference of Bishops, we would also like to remind him of the 2007 Primates Communique from Dar es Salaam, which says that there are “consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion” for TEC and those Provinces which cannot

“Make an unequivocal common covenant that the Bishops will not authorize any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through” their governing body;
“Confirm…that a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent.”

It is clear that the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Anglican Church of Canada have not upheld these commitments, and so we do pray for the Archbishop of Canterbury as he considers whether or not to extend invitations to their Primates for the next Primates Meeting or to their Bishops for the 2018 Lambeth Conference. To withhold these invitations would be a clear signal of his intention to lead and uphold the fullness of the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10.

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali

ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.

Comments

  1. Vic Spencer says:

    The obvious thing for +Cantuar to do is to withhold invitations to the Primates of Kenya & Uganda
    on the basis that they do not have the first clue about being Christians.

  2. The Archbishops of Kenya and Uganda would do well to read the 1998 Lambeth resolution they quote: “…recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;
    […] calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex.”
    Isn’t that what have +Cantuar and +Ebor said ?

    • Resolution1.10 also said this

      This Conference:

      in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;

      while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex;

      cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;

  3. Rev. Brian McHugh says:

    I’m not at all sure what the African leaders mean by “Biblical sexuality morality” as it applies to marriage. The only people in the “new Testament” called to be with one wife are bishops. And if one assumes that the African bishops accept that the Christian Bible includes the Hebrew Scriptures, then one can have many wives, as many Muslims do. I remember one African archbishop admitting that many of his Christian folk did indeed have more than one wife.

    • Vic Spencer says:

      Our President (of South Africa), Jacob Zuma, who claims to be a Christian, has several wives which costs the poor taxpayer a ton of money.

  4. Mike Grigsby-Lane says:

    I cannot remain in communion with the Kenyan, Ugandan and Nigerian churches any longer and, if I were asked to vote, would say that they are now formally in schism with the Episcopal Church and, I believe, with the rest of the Anglican Communion. One must see the hand of Scott Lively in all this. Sad to see such hate coming through.

  5. Selena Smith says:

    The words by Archbishops are unbelievable when it is known how they and their colleagues have done much to support the imprisonment, torture and death of those who are LGBT in their countries,
    and have done little to show at least compassion and affirmation of the right to live as a human being. The world will continue to ponder and challenge religious and/or secular leaders who welcome acting on bigotry.

  6. Greater part of Asian Christians are still on the path of biblical worldview, like our brothers and sisters in Africa, including the faithful in Western countries. Like this statement, “We are committed to biblical sexual morality and to biblical pastoral care, so we wholeheartedly stand by the assurance given in the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution that those who experience same sex attraction are ‘loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.’”

  7. Julian Malakar says:

    In the beginning of new millennium there were many debates over the controversial spirituality on sexual orientation. Finally dusts are settling down at least for the moment favoring world views on sexual orientation over biblical teaching. As Pope Francis said who we are to judge, God will judge at Judgment Day with individual book of life. All Provinces under sea of Anglican communions are independent and let them decide which path they believe best for them, ultimately holiness of individual life matter.

  8. The Rev. Dr. Charles Morris says:

    This is a most critical and serious matter that will, in my view, take a very long time to work out among the Provinces of the Anglican Communion. It invites us all to prayer, reflection and conversation throughout our Church worldwide. One of the main factors causing it to be such a problem now is the fundamentalism not only in Africa (Christian and Islamic), but right here in the U.S.A., including the T. E. C. So, a tremendous amount of good theological and biblical teaching will have to be done, over a long period of time. In addition, as is true in American society, more discussions and friendships will have to become realities of our common human experience for us all to realize, as have I over decades recently, that LGBT persons are persons just like the rest of us, and that their sexual orientations are like left-handedness, not to be condemned. It follows that their love relations and life-long commitments are not to be condemned as some kind of weird “disorientation” or sin. The Bible’s writers knew not a thing about same-sex life-long monogamous marriage or commitment in true person-to-person love and devotion. History, including that of the church and its theology, is a developing reality, never staying put, static or “frozen.” (Isn’t the same true of the entire universe?) Let us not ourselves become frozen in time (or theology or biblical interpretation or relationships) either!

    A final thought: The chief and deciding sacrament of the church is Holy Baptism. That makes us full members of the Church. All other Sacraments of the Church (except the Holy Eucharist, which of course is the other chief Sacrament of the Gospel), like Holy Matrimony and Ordination, Confirmation and so on–these are “lesser” and therefore once one is baptized he or she should not be denied any of those, assuming one is ready and able to take them on responsibly and faithfully.

  9. David Popovits says:

    These Africans are just backward. The Methodists are about to break in- two because of them . I am comforted by the fact that the Episcopal Church in this country will not”cave” to their homophobic bigotry. God bless theECUSA!

Speak Your Mind

*

Full names required. Read our Comment Policy. General comments and suggestions about Episcopal News Service, as well as reports of commenting misconduct, can be e-mailed to news@episcopalchurch.org.