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African Churches Take Stand Against Gays
> African Churches Take Stand Against Gays
> By TOM MALITI
> The Associated Press
> Thursday, April 15, 2004; 3:49 PM
> NAIROBI, Kenya - Anglican archbishops from Africa said Thursday they
> would reject donations from any diocese that recognizes gay clergy and
> recommended giving the Episcopal Church in the United States three
> months to repent for ordaining an openly gay bishop.
> The archbishops also said they will refuse cooperation with any
> missionary who supports ordaining gay priests. They said the
> Episcopalians - the American branch of Anglicanism - should be
> disciplined for the election last year of V. Gene Robinson as bishop
> of New Hampshire. Robinson has lived openly with his male partner for
> "If we suffer for a while to gain our independence and our freedom and
> to build ourselves up, I think it will be a good thing for the church
> in Africa," Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria told journalists. "And
> we will not, on the altar of money, mortgage our conscience, mortgage
> our faith, mortgage our salvation."
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I very much regret this decision of the Anglican Archbishops of
Africa. I grieve that many of the world's neediest people will be cut
off from resources we want to give with no strings attached. Most of
those people live at great remove from the ideological conflict
driving this decision.
I believe that The Episcopal Church should continue to support
programs for the needy quite without regard to whether they agree with
us. It is God's money, not ours.
Nevertheless, the step taken by the African archbishops will increase
my respect for them if they make a clean break from funds from the
Episcopal Church rather select a few funds from the Episcopal Church
to reject just to spite us.
A few dioceses within the Episcopal Church have cut back their giving
to the budget of the Episcopal Church to register their protest
against the actions of General Convention. Will they follow the
Africans' example; or will they continue to participate without paying
their share of the costs of General Convention,
Comissions-Committees-and-Boards, the Public Policy Network, the
Washington Office, Global Mission, and scores of other missions funded
by the General Convention?
Regardless of what they decide, I feel The Episcopal Church should
exact no penalties. We must remain faithful to the ministries God has
given us, responding generously all. Much has been given to us, and
God requires much of us.
Speaking for myself only,
Louie Crew, Nwk Deputy 03, 00, 97, 94. Member of Executive Council 00-06
377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018-1222. 973-395-1068