AFRICANGLOBE – Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has expressed reservations about remarks made recently by his colleagues of Canterbury and York about gay relationships saying that they will impact negatively on society.
He said their intervention has regrettably served to encourage those who want to normalise homosexual lifestyles in Africa and has fuelled prejudice against African Anglicans.
Archbishops Justin Welby of Canterbury and John Sentamu of York while responding to questions about laws in Nigeria and Uganda penalising homosexuality, said homosexual people were loved and valued by God and should not be victimised or diminished.
Their letter to the presidents of Nigeria and Uganda followed questions on the attitude of the Church of England towards the legislation criminalising same sex relationships and marriages.
Both Nigeria and Uganda have recently passed such legislation.
The Most Reverend Dr. Wabukala, who is also chairman of the Gafcon Primates Council, said the Archbishops of Canterbury and York sought to remind the leadership of the Anglican Communion and the Presidents of Nigeria and Uganda of the importance of friendship and care for homosexual people.
The Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) condemns those who preach what it calls a “false gospel” claiming God’s blessing for same-sex unions.
He said that while Christians should always show particular care for those who are vulnerable, this cannot be separated from the whole fabric of Biblical moral teaching in which the nature of marriage and family occupy a central place.
He quoted the Dromantine Communiqué from which the Archbishops which affirmed (Clause 17) the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 stating that “homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture” and that the conference “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”
“Yet earlier this week, the English College of Bishops accepted the recommendation of the Pilling Report for two years of ‘facilitated conversation’ because at least some of the bishops could not accept the historic teaching of the Church as reaffirmed in the Lambeth Resolution,” he said in a response to the remarks by the duo.
Referring to comments by the Archbishop of York that the Church needed to think about the anomalies in a situation where it is willing to bless a tree or a sheep, but not a faithful human relationship, Dr Wabukala said the anomaly only exists if it really is the case that a committed homosexual union can also be Christian.
“The good advice of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York would carry much more weight if they were able to affirm that they hold personally, as well as in virtue of their office, to the collegial mind of the Anglican Communion. At the moment I fear that we cannot be sure,” he stated.
He said the Anglican Church of Kenya is committed to Biblical sexual morality and Biblical pastoral care.
“We wholeheartedly stand by the assurance given in the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution that those who experience same sex attraction are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ,” he stated.
Archbishop Welby’s stance on homosexual relationships has created tension with more traditionalist Anglicans, the majority of whom are in Africa.
By: Caroline Wafula