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By David W. Virtue in Canterbury
August 4, 2022

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, confirmed in a letter to Anglican bishops earlier that the validity of Resolution 1.10 from the 1998 Lambeth Conference - which affirmed that marriage was 'between a man and a woman', and that same-sex relationships were unscriptural - was 'not in doubt'.

However, he added, that 'we have a plurality of views', and said that he would not punish churches for conducting gay marriages, as reported in the London Times today.

So, the question is, who would he punish?

What about punishment in not inviting the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, Foley Beach as a full-throated Anglican, but only as an "ecumenical observer" a sort of non-Anglican, Anglican!

The Archbishop of Canterbury recognizes only one jurisdiction in North America and that is The Episcopal Church from which he receives considerable money to maintain the Anglican Consultative Council and money received to make this Lambeth Conference possible. There are two other jurisdictions -- one in South Africa and the other in Brazil that he does not recognize.

Despite his best efforts at diverting the Conference away from sexuality to more pressing issues of climate change, global poverty and tree planting (at Lambeth Palace), part of a global forest project, the Archbishop of Canterbury has been regularly asked questions about Lambeth Resolution 1:10. Questions about sexuality have pursued him throughout the entire time here.

Did he really affirm Lambeth 1:10 or did he parse the language in such a way as not to offend pansexual bishops here while vaguely endorsing the Resolution?

The Rev. Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council said this; "While the Archbishop of Canterbury's Letter of August 2nd regarding Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) seems to reaffirm it, he does quite the opposite. It is what the Archbishop of Canterbury does not say, or what he implies, that we must pay attention to."

He says, "I write therefore to affirm that the validity of the resolution passed at the Lambeth Conference 1998, 1.10, is not in doubt and the whole resolution is still in existence."

This is a very careful and curious statement about a Resolution of a Lambeth Conference of Bishops. Apparently, the Archbishop of Canterbury did not personally affirm Lambeth Resolution 1.10 as the Global South Bishops asked him to do. Otherwise, he would have affirmed the statements in Lambeth 1.10 that state that "homosexual practice in incompatible with scripture," "cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions," and that marriage is reserved for a man and a woman for life, with abstinence in all other cases.

Instead, the Archbishop "affirms the validity of the resolution." This is no more than saying, "Yes, the 1998 Lambeth Conference did produce Resolution 1.10, and it really did say these things about the authority of Scripture and human sexuality. Yes, the resolution as we know it is valid." But what he did not say is that Lambeth 1.10 is authoritative, or that it should be followed by all Anglicans. He does not say that it reflects the Biblical teaching of the Anglican Communion. He just acknowledges that it really existed and, in that sense, is 'valid.'

Welby is very clever in his use of language. Being a well- educated (Eton/Cambridge) graduate, he is very well-versed in the precise use of English.

But the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) will have none of it. They have called on all the bishops here to reaffirm unequivocally Resolution 1:10, recognizing what it affirms and doesn't affirm. Led by the Primate of South Sudan Justin Badi, they say that Anglican identity is first and foremost 'grounded in the Holy Scriptures,' with the added note that the resolution does not take its authority from the Lambeth Conference, but from Holy Scripture. They also say they represent 75 per cent of Anglicans across the globe.

Bishops have been invited to register their support as leaders of Anglicans under their direct episcopal care. We should know the results in the next 24 hours.

Nobody wants to offend the half dozen homosexual and lesbian bishops and their partners present here for fear of being labelled "homophobic", "marginalizers" and "haters". This name calling is used to stifle any theological discussion about these LGBTQ bishops' discussion. The new ACC General Secretary, Bishop Anthony Poggo told the South Sudanese delegation that this discussion was "perfectly" in order when that delegation signed a university document undertaking to respect those of diverse sexualities allowing them to enter the campus - an undertaking incidentally not seemingly required of other delegations or of the accredited press.


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