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Lambeth ’22 can resolve divisions if you are gracious and bold, Anis tells Global South bishops

22 July 2022

Diocese of Egypt

Dr Mouneer Anis

Dr Mouneer Anis

THE former Archbishop of Alexandria, Dr Mouneer Anis, writing to bishops in the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), has called on them to express their views “graciously, lovingly and boldly” at the forthcoming Lambeth Conference.

Dr Anis is an honorary adviser to the GSFA. “The Anglican Communion stands at a crossroads,” his letter says. “One road leads to healing the current divisions and another road makes the situation worse and irreparable between the traditional and the revisionist Anglicans.

“There is no doubt that the Conference represents a great opportunity to resolve the Communion divisions.”

Dr Anis’s letter says that the last Lambeth Conference had failed “to sort out the problems of the Communion” because of its use of indaba (an African form of open-ended debate) and its refusal to make decisions.

“We are all aware that there are Provinces who undermine the apostolic tradition we once received, and other Provinces who take unilateral decisions without any consideration of the negative impact on the rest of the Communion,” he writes. “Unfortunately, some Provinces put emphasis on being autonomous and forget the necessity of being interdependent. In other words, they forget that what affects all should be decided by all.”

Dr Anis argues that what he calls “the burning issues” of “the authority of scripture, the uniqueness of Christ, and human sexuality” should be given priority at the Conference.

“The Church cannot deal with the brokenness of the world if she herself is broken,” he writes. “[Western] societies are pushing their moral ‘norms’ unto the rest of the world. When the Church accepts these moral norms, she loses her distinctiveness as salt and light in our world.”

Dr Anis’s letter echoes the call by the Archbishop of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi, who has called for bishops attending the Conference to “sound a clarion call to biblical faithfulness” and seek the reaffirmation of Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference as the official teaching of the Anglican Church on marriage (News, 15 July).

“All should respect [Resolution 1.10] in its entirety and align ‘faith and practice’ with it. Otherwise, it becomes just ink on paper,” Dr Anis writes.

It has also been announced that the University of Kent LGBT+ Staff Network will hold a symposium next week exploring the intersection between sexuality and religion.

A statement this week said: “This symposium forms part of the Network’s response to the University of Kent’s decision to host the Lambeth Conference 2022, in spite of the Anglican Communion’s exclusion of bishops’ same-sex spouses from the Spouses’ Conference.” Participants will also take part in a walk of witness across the university site.

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