Archbishops of Canterbury and York tell African bishops to treat gays better

The head of the global Anglican Communion has written to African bishops to tell them to treat LGBTI people with dignity ahead of a trip to Africa

Archbishops of Canterbury and York tell African bishops to treat gays better
30 January 2014

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York yesterday wrote to the heads of all the national churches in the global Anglican Communion – reminding them of a 2005 commitment they made to the pastoral support and care of gay people ahead of a trip by Archbishop Justin Welby to Africa.

Welby is visiting Africa for a five day trip in which he will be meeting Anglican leaders in South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is not visiting Nigeria or Uganda but also sent copies of the letter  to the presidents of both those countries.

Nigeria recently passed strict laws banning same-sex marriage or giving aid to LGBTI people while a group of Ugandan MPs keep pushing for a law to make homosexuality an offense worthy of life imprisonment.

In their letter the Archbishops remind Anglican leaders of a communiqué issued by Anglican leaders in 2005 after a meeting of Anglican Primates from across the Anglican Communion in Dromantine, Ireland.

The Dromantine meeting was held to try to manage divisions in the church over the ordination of homosexuals after the US Episcopal Church made openly gay Gene Robinson a bishop in 2003.

Robinson’s ordination lead to threats by Anglican hardliners to split the church. However with recent events in Africa it is now the hardliners who appear to be rocking the boat, and the Archbishops’ letter makes clear reference to recent events in Nigeria and Uganda.

‘Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,’ the Archbishops write, ‘In recent days, questions have been asked about the Church of England’s attitude to new legislation in several countries that penalizes people with same-sex attraction.’

‘In answer to these questions, we have recalled the common mind of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, as expressed in the Dromantine Communiqué of 2005 … We hope that the pastoral care and friendship that the Communiqué described is accepted and acted upon in the name of the Lord Jesus.

‘We call upon the leaders of churches in such places to demonstrate the love of Christ and the affirmation of which the Dromantine Communiqué speaks.’

The letter was also signed by the Ugandan born Archbishop of York John Sentamu.

‘We … wish to make it quite clear that in our discussion and assessment of the moral appropriateness of specific human behaviors, we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people,’ the 2005 Dromantine Comuniqué reads.

‘The victimization or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Tony Abbott dismisses idea of marriage equality referendum

'Referendums are held in this country where there's a proposal to change the constitution'
No thumbnail available

Uma Thurman to play anti-gay activist Anita Bryant

‘The Times of Harvey Milk’ director Rob Epstein will co-direct biopic ‘Anita’, with plans for the film being shown at Cannes
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Rome recognizes gay civil unions

Mayor hopes the capital's example will lead to full marriage equality
No thumbnail available

Learn Spanish with our Gay Pride language guide

As Gay Star News heads to Barcelona for Gay Pride this weekend, we brush up on our Spanish skills, to be used anywhere in the world
No thumbnail available

World Pride parade was changed to keep down the crowds

New evidence shows LGBT parade through central London was brought forward to reduce the number of people attending
No thumbnail available

Gay Israeli soldier photo goes viral on Facebook

Image of Israeli Defense Force soldiers holding hands released by army news desk for Pride Month
No thumbnail available

Six ways to survive your Berlin hangover

From beaches and boat trips to salt grottos and Turkish baths, Berlin is the perfect place to beat the post-party blues
Study finds that LGBT households shop and spend more than non-LGBT ones

Study finds that LGBT households shop and spend more than non-LGBT ones

LGBT people spend more on alcohol, electronics, pet accessories and music, and are more likely to be regarded as trendsetters by their peers
No thumbnail available

Maria Miller, who saw through gay marriage in England and Wales, resigns

Culture Secretary resigns from her post after funding a home for her parents at taxpayers' expense