This morning a resolution was passed by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion meeting in London.
It resolved that, in the light of the recent episcopal nomination in the Diocese of Los Angeles of a partnered lesbian candidate, the decisions in a number of US and Canadian dioceses to proceed with formal ceremonies of same-sex blessings and continuing cross-jurisdictional activity within the Communion, the Standing Committee strongly reaffirm Resolution 14.09 of ACC 14 supporting the three moratoria proposed by the Windsor Report and the associated request for gracious restraint in respect of actions that endanger the unity of the Anglican Communion by going against the declared view of the Instruments of Communion.
This afternoon the final version of the Covenant was published and will now be sent out to the Provinces. I have read the final version of section 4, but haven’t had time to compare it with the previous version; tomorrow, maybe. The day has been taken up attending to Uganda and responses to the Bill.
I wondered what would constitute an action deserving of referral to a body now called ‘The Instruments of Communion’ that might endanger the Anglican Communion – or individual members of the Communion. Is Uganda breaking Anglican policy by effectively supporting a Bill which I believe is clearly in contravention of Anglican policy on homosexuality? Those Ugandan bishops who have spoken about the Bill have all given it their total support.
The Covenant has been introduced in response to actions by the Episcopal Church. Those supporting the Covenant will use it to discipline or exclude the Epsicopal Church because of the election of Mary Douglas Glasspool as the next Bishop Suffragan in Los Angeles.
As Bishop Jon Bruno says, the Episcopal Church has been working on the gradual, full incorporation of gay and lesbian people for more than 30 years. It is part of an evolutionary change moving from tolerance to full inclusion. The Diocese of Los Angeles is moving forward in supporting the full inclusion and full humanity of all people in the Church.
The actions of the Episcopal Church bring life and hope not only to LGBT members of that Church but to LGBT members of every Province of the Communion and most particularly in Uganda, Nigeria and Rwanda where their lives and freedoms are most under threat.
It would be madness, wouldn’t it – a travesty of God’s justice – to discipline a Church for bringing justice to a once-persecuted minority in the USA but not to bring to justice those Provinces and their leaders which actively seek to extend the persecution of and discrimination against LGBT people.
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