Archbishops of Canterbury’s Plan to Appease Nigerian Archbishop Collapses
The bishops of The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States of America have made it clear they would not wish The Episcopal Church to follow the recommendations of the Dar es Salaam Anglican Primates Communiqué, issued last month.
In three resolutions passed by the House of Bishops dated 20th March 2007 the bishops urge the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church (the body with overall power between their triennial Conventions) to reject the requests of the Primates of the Anglican Communion for a new Pastoral Scheme in their Church to cater for a dissident minority within TEC.
The bishops also call for a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates Standing Committee and expressed deep concern at the way healing processes established by the Windsor Report had been subverted by the Primates Group. It also called into question the way the Covenant process had been significantly altered and was now being fast tracked.
Separately the bishops also called attention to the way lesbian and gay people were being increasingly persecuted in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world.
The Chief Executive for the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement – the Revd Richard Kirker said today 21st March 2007:
"We welcome the resolutions of TEC’s House of Bishops and urge the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Church to respond positively to their views."
"In the acrimonious power struggle that has dogged the Anglican Communion since 2003 the lives and spiritual well being of lesbian and gay Anglicans have been reduced to a bargaining chip in an attempt to buy unity. These resolutions say we are not to be gambled away."
"At last some sanity is breaking into the debate. There is an obvious realisation that the consequences of this pandering to the Puritans means an increasing hostility towards lesbian and gay people so clearly demonstrated by the Archbishop of Nigeria who is fiercely promoting anti-gay legislation in his country contrary to Scripture and all the decisions of Anglicanism over the last 30 years ."
"The Archbishop of Canterbury has much to answer for. His decision to sell us down the river in the short term to buy time has back-fired – the Americans are having none of it and we hope he will now come to see his strategy has failed."
"If the Americans are expelled from the Anglican Communion this will encourage those already bent on our destruction to persecute lesbian and gay people even more."
"Forces of the extreme American right are playing a significant role in the decisions of the Anglican Communion at the behest of Dr Williams – we see this as a dangerous sign of things to come."