THE Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala, has
criticised the Pilling report on same-sex relations (News, 6 December)
as "very flawed". It would lead the Church of England into
"heartbreak and division".
Archbishop Wabukala, who hosted the recent GAFCON meeting (News,
25 October), wrote to members of the Global Fellowship of
Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) on Saturday that allowing churches to
mark same-sex relationships would undermine biblical authority and
This was a central recommendation of the House of Bishops
working group on human sexuality, chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling.
The House of Bishops discussed the report earlier this week, but it
has made no public statement about it.
Archbishop Wabukala wrote of the report: "Against the principle
of Anglican teaching, right up to and beyond the Lambeth Conference
of 1998, it questions the possibility that the Church can speak
confidently on the basis of biblical authority and sees its
teaching as essentially provisional."
He said that the proposals in the Pilling report made the
assumption that the Bible was not clear on such issues. "This
amounts to a rejection of the conviction expressed in the
Thirty-Nine Articles that the Bible as 'God's word written' is a
clear and effective standard for faith and conduct," he said.
The dissenting statement of the Bishop of Birkenhead, the Rt
Revd Keith Sinclair, was endorsed strongly by Archbishop Wabukala
as an "alternative way forward which honours the authority of
scripture and expresses a deep pastoral concern for the
transforming power of the gospel in a society that is moving into
ever greater confusion about sexual morality and identity."
Archbishop Wabukala wrote in his letter that the GFCA was
integral to upholding the integrity of the Anglican Communion in a
time of great division. Quoting the closing statement of the GAFCON
conference, held in Nairobi in October, he wrote that the GFCA was
becoming "an important and effective instrument of communion during
a period in which other instruments of communion have failed both
to uphold gospel priorities in the Church, and to heal the
divisions among us".