Monday, February 9, 2009

The Primates Communiqué

February 7, 2009

The Primates released a number of good statements after their meeting in Alexandria, Egypt this past week, particularly in respect to Zimbabwe and Sudan. They also released a ‘communiqué’ that repeated the same old stuff about tensions in the church, calling for continued ‘gracious restraint’ on the part of those who might be tempted to think it is OK for a bishop to be gay or lesbian, or who want to push forward with some kind of official rites that celebrate the relationships of gay and lesbian people, or who want to invade other dioceses to ‘minister’ to those who are ‘deeply alienated’ or ‘wounded’ by such decisions when a majority in their own churches have come to the conclusion that such actions are right and urgent as a matter of good news for all people. They continue to be unable to either recognize or condemn those who are seeking to establish a parallel jurisdiction for conservative Anglicans in North America.

I do not understand how they can continue to ask for ‘gracious restraint’ from a whole population of Anglicans. They seem do it on the basis of a resolution from Lambeth 1998 that keeps trying to have the status of doctrine, namely that a majority of Bishops think that homosexuality is not OK. I’m wearied by it and hope that the General Convention of our Church will continue to act with dignity and clarity next summer seeking to stay in communion certainly, but not art the expense of gay and lesbian Christians.

There is no way that some of the Primates are going to be able to accept that homosexual people are alright as such any time soon and so at what point do we say ‘I’m sorry you have such a hard time with this. We would like to stay in communion with you but must move forward as a matter of proclaiming the gospel in our setting with integrity.’

The Primates continue to feel that a ‘relational’ covenant is critical to the future of our common life. And I continue to suspect that such a covenant will give an effective veto to conservatives in the communion for the foreseeable future and that had it been in place sooner would have stopped the ordination of women. I want to be part of a world wide communion, fully recognizing great cultural differences among us. (I, for example, do not care for the traditional roles of women that I see in those parts of Africa I have visited. They make me uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean that I either need to change their ways or stop speaking to them.) At the same time I do not want to be part of a world wide communion that defines itself as against homosexuality which is what I fear is happening.

1 comment:

Patty said...

Why is it that with such suffering in the world, especially during these very difficult financial times, the issue of homosexuality is still THE issue? Let's move on to do the real work of the Gospel.