ABC “Gravely concerned” at Ghana’s homophobia

Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement on Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ Bill

26/10/2021

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, said today:

“I am gravely concerned by the draft anti-LGBTQ+ Bill due to be debated by the Ghanaian parliament. I will be speaking with the Archbishop of Ghana in the coming days to discuss the Anglican Church of Ghana’s response to the Bill. 

“The majority of Anglicans within the global Anglican Communion are committed to upholding both the traditional teaching on marriage as laid out in the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I:10, and the rights of every person, regardless of sexual orientation, before the law. In Resolution I:10, the Anglican Communion also made a commitment “to assure [LGBTQ+ people] 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.” Meanwhile on numerous occasions the Primates of the Anglican Communion have stated their opposition to the criminalisation of same-sex attracted people: most recently, and unanimously, in the communiqué of the 2016 Primates’ Meeting. 

“I remind our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church of Ghana of these commitments. 

“We are a global family of churches, but the mission of the church is the same in every culture and country: to demonstrate, through its actions and words, God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ.”

Notes: 

1. The 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I.10: https://www.anglicancommunion.org/resources/document-library/lambeth-conference/1998/section-i-called-to-full-humanity/section-i10-human-sexuality

2. The 2016 Primates’ Meeting Communiqué: https://www.anglicannews.org/features/2016/01/communique-from-the-primates-meeting-2016.aspx

__________________________________________

At last, we have a statement from Archibshop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and Convenor of the Lambeth Conference, on the recent public statement from the Anglican Church of Ghana which expresses explicit support for the Ghanaian Government’s intention to promote legislation for the imprisonment and punishmen of LGBT people in that African country.

The Anglican Church in Ghana is part of the ‘Global South’ group of Churches in Africa that still wants to be in active communion with Canterbury and Lambeth (the offical Anglican Communion), so that the ABC is naturally concerned that any Church from the Global South does not publicly commit to the approval of legal restraints against LGBT+ people in their respective jurisdictions.

The action of the hierarchy of the Anglican Church in Ghana in publicly proclaiming its support of criminalising LGBT+ people in that country is not unlike that of the GAFCON/ACNA/FOCA prelates – mostly located in Africa, but also found in other countries of the Communion – who are withholding their presence from the next Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops on the grounds of not identifying with the Western Provinces of the Anglican Comunion that have accepted homosexuality as a natural variant of human sexual identity.

This latest expression of homophobias and sexism from Ghana – together with the recent proclamation of their own homophobia and sexism contained in the Statement from the 8th TRUMPET Convention of the Global South – has the rest of the Anglican world wondering if, and when – despite the efforts of the ABC to prevent such an event – there will be an official schismatic breakaway of those who actively condemn the LGBT+ community (GAFCON Affiliates and the Global South Churches) from those of us who support the Inclusion of the LGBT+ community (The worldwide Anglican Communion (ACC).

The prospect of SCHISM fills most of us with dread – knowing that intentional schism causes weakness in the cause of the Christian Witness to the world for which Christ died. However, schism cannot be blamed on the parent Church which seeks topromote human justice issues while trying to hold together the diversity of its members. Those wanting to break away from the parent Church have the reponsibility of being secure in their belief that the reason for which they are departing the parent body is in accord with the will of God for them. They cannot, however, lay the blame on others for their leaving the parent body – this is their own choice.

In the meantime, those of us in the Anglican Communion who feel that the call of the Gospel is to ALL people – irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation – must pursue the path of up-to-date spiritual discernment that comes from scientific evidence and enlightenment that we perceive to be in accord with our call to be faithful to the Gospel of OLJC, in love and faithfulness; believing that ALL are created in the Image and Likeness of the God we worship through the grace of Christ, the Redeemer of ALL.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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