and Windsor Report Recommendations and Scripture
– Places position of Archbishop of Canterbury and Church of England in Anglican Communion in doubt
– Assurances given by Arun Arora and William Fittall turn out to be dissembling, Peter Ould’s report vindicated
Recommendation 16. We believe that there can be circumstances where a priest,
with the agreement of the relevant PCC, should be free to mark the
formation of a permanent same sex relationship in a public service
but should be under no obligation to do so. Some of us do not
believe that this can be extended to same sex marriage. (Paragraphs
120, 380”“3) [Pilling Report Page 151]
Read it all and the 18 recommendations on pages 149 to 152
The Bishop of Birkenhead has issued a dissenting report at page 119 including:
after much prayer and soul searching, I have concluded I cannot sign.
416. Why have I reached this conclusion? For a number of reasons
which I try to set out in more detail in this statement:
â— I believe Scripture and Christian tradition offer a clearer and
better vision from God for the world in his gift of our
sexuality as men and women and that this is sufficient for
directing the Church at this critical time of major cultural
change. In particular, I am not persuaded that the biblical
witness on same sex sexual behaviour is unclear.
â— I believe the trajectory in the Report will undermine the
discipleship and pastoral care of many faithful Christians
and, by leading the Church into the kind of cultural captivity
which much of the prophetic writings warn against, weaken
our commitment to God’s mission.
â— I believe in the unity of Christ’s Church and think the Report
has not heeded the view of General Synod expressed in
February 2007 that ”˜efforts to prevent the diversity of
opinion about human sexuality creating further division and
impaired fellowship within the Church of England and the
Anglican Communion… would not be advanced by doing
anything that could be perceived as the Church of England
qualifying its commitment to the entirety of the relevant
Lambeth Conference Resolutions (1978: 10; 1988: 64;
The Bishop of Birkenhead also contributed a paper ‘Scripture and Same Sex Relationships’ [pages 158-175 of the Pilling Report]
Global South Warnings and Exhortations to the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England:
The Statement of the Primates of the Global South in January 2013:
We, Primates of the Global South of the Anglican Communion, are deeply concerned and worried by the recent decision of the Church of England’s House of Bishops which approves that clergy living in civil partnerships can be candidates to the episcopate……
…both the decision to permit clergy to enter civil partnerships and this latest decision which some call it a “local option,” are wrong and were taken without prior consultation or consensus with the rest of the Anglican Communion at a time when the Communion is still facing major challenges of disunity. It is contrary to “the inter-dependence” which we try to affirm between churches within the Communion. Moreover, it does not only widen the gap between the Church of England and Anglicans in the Global South, it also widens the gap between the Anglican Communion and our ecumenical partners. Further, it jeopardizes the relationship between us Anglicans living in the Global South and followers of other faiths, and gives opportunities to exploit such departure of moral standards that this type of decision may provide.
The Church, more than any time before, needs to stand firm for the faith once received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles and not yield to the pressures of the society! In other words, the Church needs to be “salt” and “light” and to present a distinctive message from that of the secular world around us.
We strongly urge the Church of England to reconsider this divisive decision.
Archbishop Wabukala’s Letter of July 2013:
we are painfully aware that the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada continue to promote a false gospel and yet both are still received as in good standing by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Furthermore, the Church of England itself, the historic mother church of the Communion, seems to be advancing along the same path. While defending marriage, both the Archbishops of York and Canterbury appeared at the same time to approve of same-sex Civil Partnerships during parliamentary debates on the UK’s ”˜gay marriage’ legislation, in contradiction to the historic biblical teaching on human sexuality reaffirmed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference.
In these circumstances, attempts to achieve unity based merely on common humanitarianism and dialogue, without repentance, sacrifice the transforming power of the gospel….
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
The GAFCON II Communique and Commitment of October 2013:
4.We commit ourselves to defend essential truths of the biblical faith even when this defence threatens existing structures of human authority (Acts 5:29). For this reason, the bishops at GAFCON 2013 resolved ”˜to affirm and endorse the position of the Primates’ Council in providing oversight in cases where provinces and dioceses compromise biblical faith, including the affirmation of a duly discerned call to ministry. This may involve ordination and consecration if the situation requires.’
5.We commit ourselves to the support and defence of those who in standing for apostolic truth are marginalized or excluded from formal communion with other Anglicans in their dioceses. We have therefore recognized the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) as an expression of authentic Anglicanism both for those within and outside the Church of England, and welcomed their intention to appoint a General Secretary of AMiE.
6.We commit ourselves to teach about God’s good purposes in marriage and in singleness. Marriage is a life-long exclusive union between a man and a woman. We exhort all people to work and pray for the building and strengthening of healthy marriages and families. For this reason, we oppose the secular tide running in favour of cohabitation and same-sex marriage
Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 ‘Human Sexuality’ [n.b. links to the resolution on ACO websites no longer appear to work]
– commends to the Church the subsection report on human sexuality;
– 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;
– 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;
– 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;
– requests the Primates and the ACC to establish a means of monitoring the work done on the subject of human sexuality in the Communion and to share statements and resources among us;
– notes the significance of the Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality and the concerns expressed in resolutions IV.26, V.1, V.10, V.23 and V.35 on the authority of Scripture in matters of marriage and sexuality and asks the Primates and the ACC to include them in their monitoring process
Letter of Rowan Williams in 2006
“In my judgement, we cannot properly or usefully re-open the discussion as if Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 did not continue to represent the general mind of the Communion.”
Disobedience by Archbishops
Archbishop John Sentamu in House of Lords Debate on Same Sex Marriage June 2013:
“What do you do with people in same sex relationships that are committed, that are loving, that are Christian?”.
“Would you rather bless a sheep and a tree but not them? That is a big question to which we are going to come and the moment is not now. We are dealing with legislation as we’ve got.”
Archbishop Justin Welby in House of Lords Debate on Same Sex Marriage:
“It is clearly essential that stable and faithful same sex relationships should, where those involved want it, be recognised and supported with as much dignity and the same legal effect as marriage”