The rift over the Anglican Church’s stance on homosexuality has taken on a new turn; with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, issuing a strongly worded statement condemning recent comments made by a Nigerian Primate.
1st News reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England; the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Nigerian Primate, Archbishop Henry C Ndukuba had described homosexuality as a deadly virus. Further, he had likened homosexuality to “a yeast that should be urgently and radically expunged and excised; lest it affects the whole dough’’. In addition, he had stated that “secular governments are adopting aggressive campaign for global homosexual culture.”
His comments came in a statement issued on Friday, February 26 2021.
However, the head of the Anglican Church had taken umbrage at the comments. Specifically, Archbishop Welby had written privately to the Nigerian Archbishop; expressing his condemnation and rejection of his description of homosexuality. Additionally, he had described the Nigerian Primate’s comments as dehumanising and unacceptable.
“I completely disagree with and condemn this language. It is unacceptable. It dehumanises those human beings of whom the statement speaks,” the Archbishop of Canterbury had stated.
Further, Archbishop Welby disclosed that he had made it clear to Archbishop Ndukuba that his choice of language is incompatible with the agreed teaching of the Anglican Communion (expressed most clearly, albeit in unsuitable language for today, in paragraphs c and d of resolution I.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998).
“This resolution both restated a traditional view of Christian marriage and was clear in its condemnation of homophobic actions or words. It affirmed that ‘all baptised, believing and faithful persons; regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.'”
Also, the statement reads: “The Anglican Communion continues to seek to walk together amidst much difference and through many struggles. I urge all Christians to join me in continuing prayer for the people and churches of Nigeria; as they face economic hardship, terrorist attacks, religious-based violence and insecurity. The mission of the church is the same in every culture and country: to demonstrate, through its actions and words, that God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ calls us to holiness and hope.”
The Nigerian Primate’s comments were in response to the publication of a pastoral statement on sexuality and identity. The publication was authored by the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a denomination formed of conservative Anglicans; who broke away from the US Episcopal Church over its pro-LGBT stance.