Fyi. Louie Crew, Ph.D., D.D., D.D., D.H.L. Member of Executive Council of the Episcopal Church http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/rel.html Subject: Gay Anglicans in Nigeria - Rowan Williams answers Rowan Williams interviewed by Simon Mayo on BBC Transcript courtesy of Fulcrum Lesbian and Gay Anglicans in Nigeria Simon: On that subject, in the current issue of the Church Times, there's a story about 800 lesbian and gay Anglicans from all over Nigeria, who met together. I don't know if you've seen this story. They met for the first time. Their organization being 'Changing Attitude of Nigeria'. Their Director has said that: 'The Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, has been telling the other Primates and Provinces an untruth when he says that gays and lesbians did not exist in Nigeria and that the church should stop colluding with cultural repression and discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people. It's the first time gay Anglicans in Nigeria have met together, I think. Judging from this account, they were quite scared, actually, as to what the implications might be. What would be your message to them? Rowan: I think my message into the whole situation would be actually what I tried to say this time last year really, in my Advent letter, that there are all sorts of complicated questions about the ethics of same-sex behaviour. What I think there is no question about, is the right of homosexual people to tolerance, civil rights, and public respect, from Christians as from everybody else. And it's very difficult when the questions - these complex questions of ethics - get tangled in with a whole set of cultural prejudices. I hope we can pull those apart a bit. Simon: And we can look at the situation in this country in just a moment. And so your message to these gay Anglicans in Nigeria would be: 'Hang on, keep talking'? Because it doesn't sound as though Archbishop Akinola even is prepared to accept that they exist. Rowan: My message, I think, would be: 'They have a right to be listened to, to be respected as human beings, as in any culture.' Simon: Do you think they're going to get that respect? Do you think they are going to get that right? Rowan: We'll have to wait and see. Simon: But they should have it, in your opinion? Rowan: Yes. -----Original Message----- From: Louie Crew [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2005 8:51 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Gay Anglicans in Nigeria - Rowan Williams answers +Rowan was guarded and stingy when he responded to the reporter concerned about the persecuted lbgt Anglicans in Nigeria. It was as if Jesus had ended the story about the Good Samaritan by saying, "but do not misunderstand me: while I think Samaritans should have the civil rights of others, of course I am not endorsing the Samaritans' loose way of living. Nor should you think that I am speaking at odds with the scribes and the Pharisees on this matter. We have not yet reached a theological consensus." It's hard to manifest co-passion when you are trying to sustain a bureaucracy that scapegoats the objects of your compassion. In May a Ugandan minister in another denomination sought me out at a reception during the annual meeting of the NJ Council of Churches. She wanted to talk with me about Archbishop Henry Orombi. When he was just a bishop but not yet archbishop, she told me, he routinely dismissed most of the discussion about homosexuality as a diversion from the real needs of the church and the people of Uganda. He had even helped a gay priest to leave Uganda and get a job in England, where he would be less likely to be persecuted, she added. She was disturbed that someone with this level of sensitivity and spiritual knowledge could now be endorsing the persecution of gays. I accepted her invitation to join her for lunch a few weeks later. She changed the report slightly to say that the priest Orombi helped place in England is not himself gay but had befriended gays and was still at great risk in the church in Uganda. Most in the Network are not dummies. They know that the issues are far more complex than the rhetoric of Akinola and Orombi and other bullies whom they underwrite. Many Network folks will tell you that homosexuality is only the presenting issue, not the source of their major concerns, which typically are the authority of scripture and the creeds.... Some will acknowledge that their own children are embarrassed by the crudeness of the actions towards lbgts by those with whom they are making alliances. Nevertheless, they do little or nothing to stop the scapegoating, and on some occasions promote it. Several years ago a friend within Episcopalians United acknowledged to me privately that the homosexual issue had great utility, especially when they made financial appeals. People would give when you told them that you were protecting the church against the queers. Jesus expects much more of us all. Lutibelle/Louie Chair of the Newark Deputation, member of Executive Council > > ---------------------------- Original Message Subject: Re: [HoB/D] Gay > Anglicans in Nigeria - Rowan Williams > answers > From: email@example.com > Date: Wed, December 28, 2005 11:05 pm > -------------------------------------------------------------------------- > > An HBO special cited statistics that the prevalence of homosexual identity > and behavior is significantly higher in Africa than in other continents. > > Tom Woodward > ECR c
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