The Rebuilding Communion Course continued today. The focus moved from the past and present to the future.
Donn Michell, a member of Holy Apostles Episcopal Church in New York City and a former secretary of Integrity, presented the 7th paper, "Anglicanism and Human Rights." He made the following key points...
- The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most ambitious statement of international law to date. It was endorsed and reaffirmed by several Lambeth Conferences.
- This document is perfectly aligned with biblical teaching and gospel values.
- At the last Lambeth Conference, a Nigerian bishop attempted to perform an involuntary of exorcism upon Richard Kirker. This was both a violation of British law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- According to a report by Bishop Geralyn Wolf, several bishops were instructed by their governments to vote against homosexuality at the 1998 Lambeth Conference or face imprisonment when they returned home. This was also a violation of human rights.
- The canons of the Episcopal Church prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in all orders of ministry. Resolution B033, passed by General Convention, instructs bishops and standing committees to disregard these canons. How can the Episcopal Church speak with any moral authority on human rights under these circumstances?
- With the encouragement of Bishop Mark Sisk of New York, Donn developed a set of objectives and documents to educate Anglicans on human rights. The next Anglican Consultative Council will be asked to endorse this as the Anglican Communion Human Rights Initiative.