Row over Bishop’s anti-gay outburst: CEN 9.14.07 p 8. September 17, 2007Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of Canterbury, CANA, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s denunciation of the Bishop of Uyo for demonizing homosexuals is unfounded and relies upon an unsubstantiated news report, the Church of Nigeria reports.
Coming two weeks before his meeting with the American bishops in New Orleans, where he hopes to be able to salvage that Church’s position within the Anglican Communion, Dr. Williams’ comments come as an ‘own goal’ in his relations with the Global South, and may have materially weakened his ability to hold the Communion together.
On Sept 7, the Anglican Consultative Council’s press office released a statement saying Dr. Williams had expressed “deep shock” at remarks made by the Bishop of Uyo, the Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama.
A Sept 2 United Press International (UPI) report based on a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) story, quoted Bishop Orama as having said “Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God’s purpose for man.”
Such comments were “unacceptable and profoundly shocking on the lips of any Christian,” Dr. Williams said, and added that that “primates, along with all other official bodies in the Anglican Communion, have consistently called for an end to homophobia, violence and hatred.”
The Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola had been asked for an explanation of the remarks, the statement said.
However, a spokesman for the Church of Nigeria, Archdeacon Akintunde Popoola told The Church of England Newspaper the story was false.
The Bishop of Uyo “denied making such a statement,” the Province’s spokesman said.
While the Bishop’s address to his diocesan synod did speak to the issue of human sexuality dividing the Communion, the Church of Nigeria’s position on these issues, and the creation of CANA-the Nigerian church’s missionary district in the United States, “he did not say that [homosexuals] are to be hated, not that they are insane nor unfit to live.”
The NAN reporter has “apologized for the misrepresentation and promised a retraction” Archdeacon Popoola said.
On Sept 7 UPI removed the story from its website.
A spokesman for Lambeth Palace on Sept 8 told CEN it was unaware that UPI had removed the story. He noted that while Dr. Williams’ condemnation of such anti-homosexual sentiments stood, his censure of the Nigerian bishop had been conditional upon confirmation of the facts from Archbishop Akinola.