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GAFCON Chairman Points up Lambeth Hypocrisy in Homosexual Spousal Exclusion

GAFCON Chairman Points up Lambeth Hypocrisy in Homosexual Spousal Exclusion

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
March 13, 2019

GAFCON chairman and Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh blasted Anglican Consultative Council Secretary General Josiah Idowu-Fearon over homosexual partners not being invited to Lambeth 2020, calling it "inconsistent" with Lambeth Resolution 1:10.

In his March letter to GAFCON followers, Okoh asked how can the same sex spouses be excluded if their partners are still invited as bishops in good standing? Both are equally committed to a sexual relationship described by Lambeth Resolution I.10 as 'incompatible with Scripture'.

Okoh said that many of those GAFCON leaders meeting in Dubai came from nations where Christian life and witness face restrictions of various kinds and were encouraged and humbled by the testimony of their joy and faithfulness despite the trials they undergo. "Their suffering serves to proclaim the gospel and their example of resilient faith needs to be at the heart of our witness in the Anglican Communion."

Then the Nigerian Primate said that many at the conference who suffer for their faith, suffer doubly. In a pointed message to Archbishop Justin Welby, he said that they feel the pain of betrayal when the gospel they love and serve in lives of costly discipleship is confused, undermined and denied in other parts of the Communion. Even as they were meeting, confusion surrounding the 2020 Lambeth Conference deepened. This was obvious to all, he said.

Okoh pointed the finger at a recent blog by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, a fellow Nigerian, who confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury would be inviting bishops in same sex unions to Lambeth 2020, but not their partners. The exclusion of the spouses was a break with the convention, and with Archbishop Welby's own previous statement that all bishops' spouses would be included.

"The reason given was that their presence would not be appropriate because Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998, which affirmed the biblical and historic understanding of marriage, remains the position of the Anglican Communion.

"But how can the same sex spouses be excluded if their partners are still invited as bishops in good standing? Both are equally committed to a sexual relationship described by Lambeth Resolution I.10 as 'incompatible with Scripture'.

Okoh tore into Welby saying that his so called 'good disagreement' has produced the bitter fruit of controversy and confusion, but this could have been avoided. "The Archbishop of Canterbury has shown that he is willing to use his power of invitation to the Lambeth Conference by disinviting the spouses of bishops in same sex unions and he could have used that power to maintain the integrity of the Lambeth Conference as urged in our Jerusalem 'Letter to the Churches'. Instead, faithful Anglican bishops from North and South America are excluded, while those who tear the fabric of the Communion by word and deed are welcomed."

"The inconsistency is obvious to all. Some in the American Episcopal Church (TEC) are now proposing that their Province's generous financial support for the London based 'instruments of communion' should be reviewed, while a UK Member of Parliament has called for the Lambeth Conference to be taken to court for discrimination and it has been confirmed that at least one of the disinvited partners will come to England regardless."

There is a painful irony here. Fearon is a Nigerian. He is the former Bishop of Kaduna, and the Archbishop of the Province of Kaduna in the Church of Nigeria. a position he held till 2015. He became Welby's man when he took the position at The Anglican Communion Office. Fearon said he had come across "hatred, vilification and character assassination" by African Primates. His move to the other side was seen as a betrayal by Okoh.

END

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