Welby defends Idowu-Fearon appointment

03 July 2015

DEMOTIX

Shared concern: around 150 people, including refugees, march in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Berlin, in March 2014, against anti-gay legislation passed in Nigeria and Uganda 

Shared concern: around 150 people, including refugees, march in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Berlin, in March 2014, against anti-gay legislation p...

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has defended the appointment of the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion (News, 8 May), after a statement on the website of the Church of Nigeria said that it had not approved his acceptance of the post.

The statement is signed by the Registrar, the Episcopal Secretary, and the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria. It says that the incoming Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, the Bishop of Kaduna, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, is "not in accord with the theological and doctrinal posture of the Church of Nigeria", because he does not support the law in Nigeria that criminalises the gay community.

It goes on: "His acceptance of the post of ACC General Secretary neither received the approval of the Church of Nigeria, nor does it in any way affect the Church of Nigeria's theological posture on the issues of homosexuality and the gay movement. Thus, the Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon represents himself at the ACC, and not the Church of Nigeria.

"He has taken early retirement from his episcopal responsibilities in the Church of Nigeria with effect from 01 July 2015. We wish him every blessing."

A statement issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury last Friday seeks to clarify the process for appointment of the Secretary General, which "follows a due process of advertising, short-listing and interviews. In the advertising process emphasis was placed on giving it the widest possible publicity."

Archbishop Welby said that he was "delighted" Dr Idowu-Fearon had "emerged as the clear appointee from this transparent process.

"This highly competitive process has produced a Secretary General who is an eminent scholar with an international track record of reconciling people, especially of different faiths. It is very good news that he comes from the largest and one of the most vigorous Provinces of the Communion."

Dr Idowu-Fearon's "view on the criminalisation of people of same gender attraction" was "fully in line with Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference".

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