Anglican bishops, representing 75 per cent of Anglicans across the globe, have released the text of a Resolution (‘Call’), and are giving an opportunity to all registered bishops at the Lambeth Conference to ‘reaffirm’ Lambeth 1.10 as the ‘official teaching of the Anglican Communion on marriage and sexuality’.
This afternoon (AUG 2), from 2pm, copies of the text are being made available to bishops around the University of Kent campus, uploaded to the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) website, available on the EFAC stand in the conference resource centre, and via email to around 250 global south bishops direct. They are also providing details of how bishops can register their support as leaders of Anglicans under their direct episcopal care.
In the preamble to the Resolution – which bishops are not asked to sign up to, only the actual stated Resolution – Archbishop Justin Badi, Chairman of the GSFA says: “Anglican identity is first and foremost ‘grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church.
“Lambeth Resolution 1.10 of the 1998Lambeth Conference is a test of faithfulness to this doctrinal standard, because it explicitly applies the clear and historic teaching of Scripture to matters of sexual morality. The Resolution does not take its authority from the Lambeth Conference, but from Holy Scripture.”
At their opening press conference last Friday (JULY29), the GSFA announced it would proceed with giving bishops the opportunity to reaffirm. Today the text has been revealed, together with the way bishops can indicate their support for the Resolution.
Archbishop Badi explains to fellow bishops: “We are living at a time of great spiritual confusion and moral flux. The Church of Jesus Christ cannot afford to lose its moorings in Holy Scripture and drift with the world. Based on the need to establish clear doctrine on Marriage and Sexuality at this defining moment for the Anglican Communion, this conference must reaffirm the biblical teaching of Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10.”
The core resolution reads “that this Conference:-
- in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;
- recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them 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;
- while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex;
- cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;
- notes the significance of the Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality and the concerns expressed in resolutions IV.26, V.1, V.10, V.23 and V.35 on the authority of Scripture in matters of marriage and sexuality.
- Urges that renewed steps be taken to ensure that all Provinces abide by this doctrine in their faith, order & practice.”
To prevent any fraud in the ‘sign in’ process, the GSFA has asked bishops to take a photo of their official Lambeth Conference pass (which contains an up-to-date picture, full name, the province/diocese they serve in and a unique ID number). They are then asked to email it to a dedicated email address, and in the subject line, include their name and importantly, the number of worshippers under their direct episcopal care.
Bishops have been assured the process will be completely anonymous. Their names will not be revealed at the conference, or at any time after. Only the province, how many bishops in that province reaffirmed, and the number of worshippers in their direct episcopal care will be revealed. The GSFA will ask a well-respected person to independently verify the processes to provide independent security, giving Anglicans across the globe assurance that the reaffirmation process was recorded accurately. Records, once verified, will be destroyed.
Details of the response from bishops will be announced by the GSFA in due course. A copy of the full text can be found at www.lambeth22resourcegroup.com