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Anglican Communion’s new Secretary General

14 August 2015


From the Revd Clive Gardner

Sir, — In an interview on Radio 4’s Sunday on 9 August, the new Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Rt Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, was asked three times whether he believed it was wrong to throw gay people into prison. Each time, he refused to answer, hiding behind his new role as peacekeeper in the Church in case he “upset some of the bishops”. A virtue of our Anglican family of faith is holding together people of different views, but isn’t this a step too far?

One of the four instruments of the Anglican Communion is the Lambeth Conference. Lambeth Resolution 1.10 condemns homophobia. Surely the Secretary General should seek to uphold this view. Perhaps he fails to realise that, for better or worse, people will interpret his silence as the Church’s giving moral legitimacy to governments who lock up men and women for the crime of loving someone of the same sex. And this incarceration is effectively a death sentence, given the poor living conditions and lack of prisoner protection in many of these jails.

Also, here in the UK, what message does he send to those many dedicated teachers in Church of England schools who are trying to tackle homophobic bullying among young people?

Resolution 1.10 also says about gay people: “we wish to assure them that they are loved by God.” I’m not getting that message from the new Secretary General.Not a great start to his ministry.


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