Global South Statement on TEC marriage vote–"we are deeply grieved again"

Updated with new signatories, July 7
Statement in response to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church resolution regarding same sex marriage

We are deeply grieved again by the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) Resolution to change the definition of marriage in their church canons in their current ongoing General Convention.

By this action, TEC has chosen by its own will and actions in clear knowledge to depart from the Anglican Communion’s standard teaching on human sexuality according to Lambeth Resolution 1:10. This TEC Resolution is another example of such unilateral decisions that are taken without giving the least consideration to the possible consequences on other provinces and the Anglican Communion as a whole, the ecumenical partnerships, the mission of the church worldwide, and the interfaith relations. This Resolution clearly contradicts the Holy Scriptures and God’s plan for creation as He created humankind as man and woman to complement each other physically and emotionally.

Indeed the church must provide pastoral care for all, whether heterosexuals or homosexuals. However the church should not alter the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, that was interpreted by the majority churches globally, to provide such pastoral care. The aim of pastoral care is to restore people to the bosom of God where they encounter His love and design to live a life according to His plan. We are against any criminalization of homosexuals, they are like all of us, need God’s mercy, grace and salvation. The church is intended by its Lord to be the holy leaven to shape society by its spiritual and moral values
in line with God’s design. But sadly, by this action of TEC, the church gives way to the society to alter and shape its values. In other words the church is losing its distinctiveness as salt and light in this world.

“do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2)

This statement is approved by:
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, Archbishop, Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa and Chairman of the Global South.
The Most Rev. Ian Ernest, Primate of the Indian Ocean and General Secretary of the Global South.
The Most Rev. Bolly Lapok, Primate of South East Asia and treasurer of the Global South.
The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Primate of Myanmar.
The Most Rev. Hector “Tito” Zavala, Primate of the Anglican Church of South America.
The Rt. Rev. John Chew, member of the GS Global South steering committee, former GS chairman.
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Primate of Rwanda.
The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya
The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate of Burundi

* The above mentioned GS Primates are the ones who sent their approval and amendments before posting this statement. We will add the names of those who will send their approval after.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Executive Council, Global South Churches & Primates, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

26 comments on “Global South Statement on TEC marriage vote–"we are deeply grieved again"

  1. Karen B. says:

    Fantastic statement.

    Important for readers to note this is from the GLOBAL SOUTH leadership – a broader and larger group than GAFCON. I.e. even the somewhat more moderate conflict-averse bishops of the Anglican Communion are taking a stand against TEC’s actions.

    These words in the statement are VERY true:
    [blockquote]This TEC Resolution is another example of such unilateral decisions that are taken without giving the least consideration to the possible consequences on other provinces and the Anglican Communion as a whole, the ecumenical partnerships, the mission of the church worldwide, and the interfaith relations.[/blockquote]

    I don’t remember the details, but in following the HOB discussion on the marriage votes, I believe there was some discussion of an explicit choice to refrain from further consultation on these matters with the Anglican Communion. There may have even been a vote about this on some resolution? Hopefully George+ or Jeff or someone else who was there can provide the relevant details.

    Last night I was following the HOD vote on the marriage resolutions via Twitter. There were multiple tweets on the #GC78 thread dissing Abp. Justin Welby and his statement of concern about the Bishops’ vote.

    Several said “He’s not OUR Archbishop”

    I ReTweeted two noting the disrespect for the larger Anglican Communion. The Tweeters replied claiming I’d taken their words “out of context” and then promptly deleted their offending tweets. But as the many tweets I’ve linked above show, those tweets were not isolated by any means. There were many.

    It is clear to even any casual observer that GC / TEC has absolutely NO interest in what the wider Communion thinks about their actions & votes.

    Heck, they don’t even care about their own.

    When the deputy from the Diocese of Honduras (PART of TEC) spoke against the marriage resolutions and the difficulty they would cause in his diocese (what shall I tell my people back home?) there was much snark (at least on Twitter, quelle surprise).

    Here are a few:

    Similarly, there was a lot of disregard and disbelief regarding the testimony of a youth rep. from Virginia who spoke from experience of division in the Dio. of Virginia when he claimed this would cause more pain and more division in his diocese and pleaded for a vote against the Same-sex marriage liturgies.

    Yet all the while there was a lot of self-congratulation for the grace shown on the floor to those who dissented and the “space that was made” for those who disagree. Sad. I mean the snark & criticism against the conservative dioceses nerve to even call a vote by orders was significant. Even *THAT* now is viewed as bold a stand of non-conformity and will be barely tolerated.

    Katie Sherrod’s comment on the request for a vote by orders probably takes the cake:

    Katie Sherrod ‏@KatieSherrod3 14 hours ago
    #gc78 this vote by orders is one last mean spirited attempt to let fear win out over love. IT. WILL. NOT. WORK.

    Some love Katie. Some love.

  2. Karen B. says:

    In a video report to his diocese, Bp. Brewer indicates that the Communion Partners bishops, joined by the TEC Latin American bishops will be releasing a statement (with copies to Abp. Welby) regarding their dissent from the marriage resolutions.

    Sounds like it will be released today.

  3. Karen B. says:

    Via an article in the Living Church, here are more details about what the deputy from Honduras shared:

    [blockquote]But others warned that changes will harm the Episcopal Church’s ecumenical relationships.

    “This will create a schism within our church, and it goes against the charity that we should be showing other Christians,” said Jose Luis Mendoza-Barahona, a deputy and priest from Honduras. He spoke through a translator.

    “We should fight for the truth for salvation, and we should not be coerced by a society that tells us to do what’s wrong,” Mendoza-Barahona said. “We are to be transformed.”[/blockquote]

  4. Karen B. says:

    The Communion Partners bishops and some others (7 US diocesans, 7 diocesan bishops from Province IX, and 4 retired bishops) have issued a statement of dissent regarding the votes on resolutions A054 and A036 on marriage.

  5. Jim the Puritan says:

    ## 2&4 — I wonder if this will now simply give the new Presiding Bishop a reason to argue that the remaining orthodox bishops have abandoned communion and to see if he can “wage reconciliation” as well as the last Presiding Bishop.

  6. Karen B. says:

    And the disrespect continues.

    A deputy from Honduras requested a point of personal privilege to read the Bishops’ statement of dissent in the House of Deputies. She was only able to read 5 sentences before she was cut off by the chair as being out of time….

  7. CSeitz-ACI says:

    Could someone kindly let us know what this ‘gracious compromise’ affected by the HOB and endorsed by the HOD actually MEANS on the ground?
    1) I Bishop X forbid all my clergy from doing ssb/m so go to another diocese
    2) I Bishop Y allow clergy from Diocese Z to do ssm/b in my diocese.
    3) I bishop W go with Doyle Plan.

    And when the ‘LBGT marriages’ have been enacted and the couple return or otherwise take up their lives in said conservative Diocese, what does that mean?

    Will pro-LGBT clergy and will LGBT folk who do not like these options seek alternatives and what happens then?

    This looks to me like the kind of mishmash people create when they want a compromise of some kind, out of exigency, but then envision various different things by it, some of them unworkable.

  8. Karen B. says:

    Dr. Seitz, your questions are good ones I think.

    A question for you: for those of us not in the know, what is the Doyle plan? I’ve seen mention several places of the Doyle plan and the Little plan. I know who Bp. Doyle & Bp. Little are, but I have no idea what arrangements they have put in place in their dioceses re: same-sex blessings. If you could elaborate, I’d be grateful.

  9. CSeitz-ACI says:

    a) designate certain parishes and clergy to undertake ssb/m within your diocese (Doyle Plan)
    b) ask LGBT couples who want a blessing to drive across a proximate border and go to another diocese, then return (+N-Ind Bishop)
    c) let clergy come into your diocese and do ssb/m on a sort of DEPO basis for LGBT couples (I believe this is the practice in some places).

  10. Dick Mitchell says:

    This may simply mean that if in Diocese X there is this modified DEPO arrangement, for visiting clergy, then if Bob and Ted want to get married in their own parish, with their rector Fr. Tom to handle, but local Fr. Tom is under the Bishop’s interdict, then Fr. Frank from the neighboring diocese is added to the service. Local Fr. Tom does the opening, takes the consents and does a homily, presides if there is a Eucharist. Outsider Fr. Frank takes the vows and does a blessing. A seamless service.

    Hardly seems worth the trouble to make the distinction.

  11. CSeitz-ACI says:


    a) I believe this may be an arrangement in Albany. This probably ‘works best’ when the parish is totally pro-LGBT.

    b) The Doyle Plan is different. Select EDOT clergy and venues are approved by Diocesan. Obviously, these are pro-LGBT parishes and clergy. Other LGBT couples in EDOT have a ‘destination blessing’ at these select parishes and return to their home parishes. In future, the Doyle Plan could be altered to accommodate ssm as well. This will depend on the Diocesan.

    c) Then there is the plan whereby LGBT couples throughout a diocese go to a pro-LGBT Diocese and get married, and return to enrich the life of their home parish.

    And I am confident a plan D will also emerge.

  12. tjmcmahon says:

    Yes Dr. Seitz (#11), but in what way, shape or form are any of those options consistent with the Faith once delivered, that all of these “conservative” bishops are sworn to uphold. In what way is pursuing any of these options “driving out false doctrine” and guarding the Faith?

    Figure that by this time next week, couples desiring gay marriages will have presented themselves in the Communion Partner dioceses, and likely in Haiti, where TEC money has major leverage, and “neighboring dioceses” require airfare to reach. The 90% majorities of bishops and deputies do mean to enforce their new liturgies across ALL of TEC, and they mean to do it right now, judging by the chatter on the net.

    Prayers for all, but I can’t see how any of the “conservative” bishops can hold this line for more than a few weeks.

  13. CSeitz-ACI says:

    They are not. I am sorry my effort to be descriptive was taken to be an endorsement!

  14. SC blu cat lady says:

    I know Bishop Martins has written on one of his two blogs, that he “can live with” sending couples to a neighboring diocese for SSM. I guess that would be the Little (Dio Northern IN) plan.

    While I am extremely sad that this has transpired, It should not be a surprise to anyone who has been keeping track of these decisions at GC over the past couple of these events. Extremely thankful that my bishop, +Mark Lawrence, saw this coming down the road and refused then and refuses now to allow SSM blessing in the diocese. We will see how that works out now that SSM is legal in all 50 states. I wonder if freedom of religion will be enough so that clergy will not have to do any SSM.

  15. SC blu cat lady says:

    #7, Dr Seitz,
    NO ONE really knows how this *comprise* will work out in actual practice… sadly. Yes, there are already in place two possible ways to “comprise” in place as discussed. I just pray and hope as #5 Jim the Puritan writes that such dissent will not be seen as an Title IV offense punishable by “conciliation” or worse charges of “abandoning the communion of TEC”. I suspect it will only be a matter of time before such charges are brought against one of the dissenting bishops. I despise that “Christians” could do such acts of hate against fellow Christians.

    Also, remember, it can be any laity or clergy that bring such charges against a bishop. That is exactly how the charges were brought against Mark Lawrence- 12 laity and 2 clergy brought charges not once but twice and the DBB agreed the second time.

  16. tjmcmahon says:

    Dr. Seitz,
    No worries, as our Aussie friends would say. Your concern over the meaning of the wording of the various GC resolutions has been evident in all your recent commentary. Personally, I am having trouble relating to people I consider good friends because I just cannot see any way in which they can facilitate gay marriages for any parishioner who requests one (as required under the canonical revision) and maintain orthodoxy. To me, there are mutually exclusive. I see no plausible way out of the dilemma. They want to stay in TEC, but there is no longer the “wiggle room” that until now had provided some cover.

  17. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #15–rest assured all your concerns have been thought about carefully.

  18. CSeitz-ACI says:

    The DEPO arrangement described above is not in place in Albany. Apologies for my error.

    That said, I suspect it may be one of those odd arrangements that could now be contemplated, and indeed I believe I have seen it somewhere.

    I think all of these arrangements have lots of unforeseen pastoral implications and problems, as well as being wrong to begin with. In case this was unclear.

    And yes, holding such a view will need to anticipate a wide array of disciplinary effects.

  19. Ralph says:

    Wimpy. Instead of “We are deeply grieved again…” how about, “We condemn…the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) Resolution to change the definition of marriage in their church canons.”

  20. SC blu cat lady says:

    #18. Agreed. All these various ways to *comprise* will lead to a variety of results but lets not forget that under the *new* Title IV canons any one can bring disciplinary charges against a bishop. So all it will take is for individuals to write up some ridiculous charges and the DBB to rubber stamp it. You say…. it could never happen… no way… Yes, it has already happened….sadly.

  21. CSeitz-ACI says:

    “You say…. it could never happen.”
    Who are you addressing?

  22. Nikolaus says:

    I can’t see how the conscience clause, the Little Plan , or the Doyle Plan are sustainable. If the Convention has accepted gay “marriage” no gay couple is going to tolerate being sent to another parish or another diocese for their nuptials. As much as I disagree with the authorization, I must admit they should rightly object. The conscience clause seems like folly.

  23. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #21–All right on point.

  24. Ad Orientem says:

    Another affront to Christian orthodoxy, and another statement of pain and regret. This reminds me of the old joke about the unarmed British policeman confronting a bank robber who yells “Stop! Stop!… or I will yell Stop again!.”

  25. MichaelA says:

    Ad Orientem, what version of “being armed” would you like to see? 😉

    We do have weapons given to us by our Lord, but they tend to be similar to that of the British policeman.

  26. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Thank you Global South Primates and God bless you.