Archbishop Nicholas Okoh–the Gafcon Chairman’s March Letter

A recent blog by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council had confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury would be inviting bishops in same sex unions to Lambeth 2020, but not their partners. The exclusion of the spouses was a break with the convention, and with Archbishop Welby’s own previous statement that all bishops’ spouses would be included.

The reason given was that their presence would not be appropriate because Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998, which affirmed the biblical and historic understanding of marriage, remains the position of the Anglican Communion.

But how can the same sex spouses be excluded if their partners are still invited as bishops in good standing? Both are equally committed to a sexual relationship described by Lambeth Resolution I.10 as ‘incompatible with Scripture’.

The inconsistency is obvious to all. Some in the American Episcopal Church (TEC) are now proposing that their Province’s generous financial support for the London based ‘instruments of communion’ should be reviewed, while a UK Member of Parliament has called for the Lambeth Conference to be taken to court for discrimination and it has been confirmed that at least one of the disinvited partners will come to England regardless.

The story unfolding around Lambeth 2020 shows that so called ‘good disagreement’ produces the bitter fruit of controversy and confusion, but this could have been avoided. The Archbishop of Canterbury has shown that he is willing to use his power of invitation to the Lambeth Conference by disinviting the spouses of bishops in same sex unions and he could have used that power to maintain the integrity of the Lambeth Conference as urged in our Jerusalem ‘Letter to the Churches’. Instead, faithful Anglican bishops from North and South America are excluded, while those who tear the fabric of the Communion by word and deed are welcomed.

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Posted in Church of Nigeria, GAFCON

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