January 29, 2014

Finally

In the better late than never department, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have finally issued a short but pointed statement addressing homophobia, in particular the turn it has taken in Uganda and Nigeria. Citing a 2005 Communiqué of the Primates, the Archbishops reminded all that "the victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us."

The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org//articles.php/5237/archbishops-recall-commitment-to-pastoral-care-and-friendship-for-all-regardless-of-sexual-orientati#sthash.5zLMMYkW.dpuf
The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org//articles.php/5237/archbishops-recall-commitment-to-pastoral-care-and-friendship-for-all-regardless-of-sexual-orientati#sthash.5zLMMYkW.dpuf
The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org//articles.php/5237/archbishops-recall-commitment-to-pastoral-care-and-friendship-for-all-regardless-of-sexual-orientati#sthash.5zLMMYkW.dpuf
The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org//articles.php/5237/archbishops-recall-commitment-to-pastoral-care-and-friendship-for-all-regardless-of-sexual-orientati#sthash.5zLMMYkW.dpuf
The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org//articles.php/5237/archbishops-recall-commitment-to-pastoral-care-and-friendship-for-all-regardless-of-sexual-orientati#sthash.5zLMMYkW.dpuf
The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org//articles.php/5237/archbishops-recall-commitment-to-pastoral-care-and-friendship-for-all-regardless-of-sexual-orientati#sthash.5zLMMYkW.dpuf

Recent examples of this diminishment were reported from the Primate of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, who is quoted as saying that any support for same-sex relationships represents an effort similar to that made in the Garden of Eden, to "dethrone God" and will "lead to extinction.... It is a dead end and it is not in the interest of humanity." He declared that it is "refusal to accept the scripture for what it is, authority for life and practice following God." Okoh also commended the President of Nigeria for pushing the anti-gay law, which goes far beyond criminalizing same-sex conduct, to prohibit support and association.

We have not seen the end of this. Meanwhile, it is distressing that an Archbishop can take such a narrow and ill-informed reading of Scripture as the primary basis for his thinking. To call it a "literal" reading is an insult to literalism.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

15 comments:

Brother David said...

That likely wasn’t the best route for +Justin to take. #1, not having much respect for +York, I wish that he had sent his message as the Instrument of Unity of the AC, not as the Primate of All England in the company of the Primate of England.

But #2, as Father Holdsworth in Glasgow points out, perhaps the Primate’s Dromantine Communique wasn’t the best thing to use. I don’t believe that any of us would have taken it kindly had +Justin written to the more progressive provinces of the AC pointing out the same communique’s section 18, regarding marriage equality and consecration of bishops living with a same gender partner.

I think he should have written alone and written something himself that didn’t rely on other documents.

Marshall Scott said...

My comment (and also at Episcopal Cafe): as I recall, Nigeria and Uganda were among the Anglican national churches that called on the Episcopal Church to see Dromantine as compelling. Apparently now, not so much (and I imagine they'll blame that on us this time, too).

Tobias Haller said...

David, I agree completely on both counts. I mentioned concerns about relying on Dromantine (or Lambeth 1.10) to Colin Coward when the issue was first raised concerning "compliance." Joining Nigeria or Uganda in their hypocrisy is not the best answer. Calling them out on it, as Marshall suggests, may not be so bad, but I would not want to be bound by any of these documents, so I do not want to see anyone bound by them!

There was plenty to object to in the Nigerian and Ugandan legislation simply on human rights grounds, completely apart from any of these Anglican "statements." But Church of England bishops, and archbishops, seem to be plagued by taking personal responsibility and expressing their personal views on anything. They seem, since Rowan, to have come to see themselves as executive automats, who can only dispense canned and "agreed upon" products.

Perhaps they should take a leaf from Francis I, who seems to be able to speak from the shoulder, or off the cuff, to considerable effect, while remaining strictly within the limits of the teaching of his church.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Perhaps they should take a leaf from Francis I, who seems to be able to speak from the shoulder, or off the cuff, to considerable effect, while remaining strictly within the limits of the teaching of his church.¨ Tobias+

Exactly. I think +Justin is still tip-toeing through the poison ivy.

JCF said...

I called this "Too Little, Too Late" at Thinking Anglicans, and that's where I stand.

"Too Late" because this statement should have been issued within, say, 48 hours of the announced authorization of the Nigerian law.

"Too Little", because Okoh had already come out in strong support of the law---and therefore, should have been condemned by +++Canterbury & ++York, by name.

...but I also agree, of ALL the sources of authority that could have been appealed to, "Dromantine" is about the WORST. [Good Lord, Lambeth '98 wouldn't have been as bad!]

Is this statement today going to save ANY gay Nigerian from persecution? I doubt it. Kyrie eleison!

Marshall Scott said...

Ah, JCF, Resolution 1009 1.10 has come back, in the posted GAFCON response to the Pilling Report and the (CoE) College of Bishop's reaction. And, as usual, how convenient to remember sections b and e:

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


and forget sections c and d:

c.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;...
d.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;


But, then, that's nothing new.

I am no more convinced than any of us that these various statements should be compelling, on us or on them. They, on the other hand, thought they should be compelling - or, at least on us. I will own, though, frustration with the "speck in your eye, but no log in mine."

Brother David said...

And now with the issue of the Archbishop of Uganda’s letter of response, the use of the Dromantine Communique has officially come back to bite +Justin in the ass.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Ass (perfect word)

Tobias Haller said...

Exactly so, mis hermanos. Reliance on any of the products of such Primates (or the gathered lunacy of Lambethlam) instead of the Gospel, is leaning on a cane sword that will shatter and pierce the hand... or ass.

Meanwhile, I thank God for the clear statement from my own Primate, not arising our of a communiquake or a conferencicle, but simply relying on the plain common mandate to treat all persons with dignity, and as one would oneself be treated.

Erika Baker said...

I thought the use of Dromantine was very clever. It's easy to criticise what is happening on human grounds and your Presiding Bishop has done so brilliantly.

But to say to the churches in Nigeria and Uganda "hold on a minute, you yourself agreed to this some years back" is useful.

The rest is as it always was. All churches had a moratorium on lgbt consecrations until they had completed the listening process. TEC and Canada actually did have a listening process and, as a result of it, took their own decisions.

England is still in the middle of its listening process and, though Pilling, has just re-affirmed its commitment to continue it.

Rowan Williams tried and failed to get an Anglican Covenant established and that alone would have given anyone any powers to do more than criticise what the others have been doing.

Erika Baker said...

And there are people here who say that only York should have spoken because he's the only one who cannot be criticised for being a white liberal and former oppressor of black people.

I think it was good that both spoke out.

Brother David said...

Are there comments in this thread that I can't see? There are no such ridiculous statements regarding +York here. Just the opposite, that +Justin should have spoken alone.

Fred Garvin said...

Nobody's listening because nobody cares.

Brother David said...

The GAFCONers have now taken their own bite!

Tobias Haller said...

Bro David, I think that Erika is referring to the actual "here" of her location in England, rather than the virtual "here" of this blog-comment thread. I do note the additional GAFCON comment from Kenya. Quite evident that all of these statements from the "Global South" are in fact written by Northern or Western hands. Not surprising in the least.

Fred, I think some people care, but the English leadership in particular is paralyzed between two posts, and like the proverbial donkey torn between food and drink, dies of starvation.