The Lambeth Commission on Communion - Documents


Selected articles about human sexuality issues

Statement issued by a group of concerned Primates

The recent action of the Bishop of New Westminster displays a flagrant disregard for the remainder of the Anglican Communion. The Bishop's decision to proceed with same-sex blessings is at variance with the witness of Holy Scripture and the recently concluded Primates' Meeting where the Primates as a body, issued an unambiguous statement on the subject.

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In the consensus process utilized by the Primates the failure to dissent constitutes an assent! All the Primates at the recently concluded Primates' Meeting gave their assent to the Pastoral Letter, including the refusal to authorize rites for same-sex blessings.

Bishop Ingham chose to ignore the Archbishop of Canterbury's earlier affirmation of the Lambeth Resolution 1:10 as the authoritative position of the overwhelming majority of Anglicans in the worldwide communion. In addition the Bishop, through his unilateral action, displayed contempt for the Archbishop's warning that "any individual diocese or even province that officially overturns or repudiates the resolution (Lambeth Resolution 1:10) poses a substantial problem for the sacramental unity of the communion."

Bishop Ingham, by deliberately and intentionally abandoning the established Anglican consensus, has placed himself and his diocese in an automatic state of impaired communion with the majority within the Anglican Communion.

The unfortunate situation at New Westminster has taken the diocese far beyond the generally accepted teaching of the church and a declaration has already been made that communion has been severed as a result. Bishop Ingham's action has brought the Anglican Communion to a defining moment in which the clear choice has to be made between remaining a communion or disintegrating into a federation of churches.

We, the undersigned, Primates in the Anglican Communion, declare our commitment to firmly and resolutely address this revisionist innovation and affirm the moral authority of the Primates within the communion and, at the same time, promote common faith and practice within the communion.

Meanwhile, we strongly encourage the members of the Diocese of New Westminster who have remained faithful to the witness of scripture and tradition in respect of same-sex blessings, to persevere in their faith in the knowledge that they are not standing alone.

The Anglican Communion cannot ignore the blatantly divisive course of action initiated by Bishop Ingham and the Synod of New Westminster within the Anglican Church of Canada. Consequently, we urge all Anglicans who love their communion to join us in the call to action.

Prepared by the Primate of the West Indies

The Primates who have signed the statement so far are:

The Most Revd Drexel Gomez (West Indies)
The Most Revd Greg Venables (Southern Cone)
The Most Revd Bernard Malango (Central Africa)
The Most Revd Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya)
The Most Revd KJ Samuel (South India)
The Most Revd Yong Ping Chung (South East Asia)
The Most Revd James Ayong (Papua New Guinea)
The Most Revd Ignacio C. Soliba (Philippines)
The Most Revd Livingstone Nkoyoyo (Uganda)
The Most Revd Robert Okine (West Africa)
The Most Revd Remi Rabenirina (Indian Ocean)
The Most Revd Fidel Dirokpa (Congo)
The Most Revd Peter Akinola (Nigeria)
The Most Revd Joseph Biringi Marona (Sudan)