03 October 2007

A Kenyan's response to the ECUSA HoB

Just to remind our readers that this is all more complicated than we are sometimes led to believe, here is a snippet from one Kenyan's reaction to the recent statements from ECUSA's House of Bishops. This is powerful stuff, and the writer makes a powerful argument. Read this excerpt, and then go read the whole thing. Pass it along to your friends.
The American Episcopal church has backed down to preserve the unity of the Anglican family worldwide. It has promised to exercise restraint with respect to the ordination of any more gay or lesbian bishops. And it has promised no longer to authorise the use of rites to bless same-sex marriages.

African Anglican bishops are, for the most part, celebrating. As far as they are concerned, they have won a major victory regarding interpretation of religious texts relating to homosexuality. Kenya’s archbishop has gone so far as to say that the capitulation is not enough — he is demanding no less than full “repentance.”

My personal opinion, for what it is worth, is that the African Anglican hierarchy itself has something to repent. It has proceeded as though African gay men and lesbians do not exist, even though some are also members of its flock. It has endorsed the prejudice and stereotypes about African gay men and lesbians — namely that they are both “unAfrican” and “unholy.” ...

What the African Anglican bishops have essentially said is that African citizens are “right” in their prejudices and stereotypes about African gay communities. It is thus the African Anglican hierarchy that should “repent.” If we do not stop and check ourselves, we can rest assured that the damage ultimately caused will not just be to the Anglican family worldwide. The damage will be to our own.
Don't believe it when people say the "Global South" says this or that. There are people in the Global South pushing for change, just as there are people in the US resisting change. And, mark my words, there will be Global South bishops at Lambeth, even if +Peter Akinola throws his own party elsewhere.

Come to think of it, maybe some priests should get themselves ordained as bishops to serve people whose pastoral needs are not being met in Kenya.

(Hat tip to epiScope.)

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