Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Press Release: the Rev. Susan Russell Pres. of Integrity

As the majority of bishops attending the Lambeth Conference settled into daily Bible Study, Indaba groups and conversations across differences it was made clear that at least a percentage of the purple shirts on the Canterbury campus are focused on conflict rather than collegiality. Having issued statements on the ongoing genocide in Sudan and the ongoing discussions on human sexuality in the Anglican Communion, it was not genocide but sexuality that was the focus of the Sudanese primate's briefing to the media. In the press conference on Tuesday afternoon, the Primate of the Sudan (the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul) called for the resignation of the Bishop of New Hampshire, declaring in the statement released ahead of the press conference that he had come to the Lambeth Conference “to take the necessary steps to safeguard the precious unity of the Church.” When asked about ministering to the gays and lesbians in his province, the archbishop declared that he did not think there were any homosexuals in the Sudan as “none had come forward.” And when queried about his position on the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate said he “believed in women priests and bishops because they were human” – leaving listeners to wonder if the inference was that homosexuals were not. The fact that there are those within the communion who think the Bishop of New Hampshire should resign is not news. Indeed, there have been calls for his resignation since the day he was elected. What is news is that the Archbishop of the Sudan helped make the case on Tuesday that the schism facing the Anglican Communion is the direct result of hard-line reactionaries who will stop of nothing short of compliance with their narrow, exclusionist agenda as their criterion for being in communion. What is news is that a bishop in the Church of God would deny the existence of gay and lesbian member of his province despite the call for listening to the experience of homosexual people throughout the communion. On Wednesday evening, Integrity USA will present a preview screening of the documentary Voices of Witness: Africaas one of the Lambeth Conference Fringe Events. Everyone is welcome – most particularly Archbishop Deng Bul. We would love to share with him the witness of gay and lesbian Africans who are not only fully human but fully loved by the God who created them in love.  -- Posted By SUSAN RUSSELL to Walking With Integrity at 7/22/2008 01:55:00 PM

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