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UK News

Following outrage, bishops given new option to reject homosexuality vote at Lambeth Conference

by Tola Mbakwe

Organisers of The Lambeth Conference, the largest meeting of Anglican bishops from across the world, have responded to a row over a call for bishops attending the event to include a re-affirmation that marriage is between a man and a woman. 

A group in charge of co-ordinating the so-called Lambeth Calls met the Archbishop of Canterbury on Monday to include a new draft giving bishops the opportunity to reject the affirmation. 

The call on 'Human Dignity' is lead by the Primate of the West Indies, Most Rev Howard Gregory.

Originally, it asked conference attendees to reaffirm Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Conference which considers homosexuality is "incompatible with scripture".

Bishops were required to record their views electronically to either affirm the call or commit to further reflection on the issue.

The options were: "This call speaks for me. I add my voice to it and commit myself to take the action I can to implement it" or "This call requires further discernment. I commit my voice to the ongoing process."

Now, they can reject the call. 

Bishop Tim Thornton, Chair of the Lambeth Calls Subgroup The Lambeth Conference said in a statement on Monday evening: "Over recent days we have listened carefully to the responses of bishops to Lambeth Calls: Guidance and Study Documents that was released last week - and especially in relation to the draft Call on Human Dignity. 

"The drafting group for the Call on Human Dignity will be making some revisions to the Call. This will be published as part of Lambeth Calls - which will be the texts that will be discussed by bishops at the conference. This will be released as soon as it is available.

"It can also be announced that bishops will now be given a third option for responding to the Lambeth Calls when they are discussed during the conference - bishops will now be able to clearly state their opposition to a particular Call."

The new options are:

- 'This Call speaks for me. I add my voice to it and commit myself to take the action I can to implement it.'

- 'This Call requires further discernment. I commit my voice to the ongoing process.'

-  'This Call does not speak for me. I do not add my voice to this Call.'

Around 650 Bishops from across the Anglican Communion start arriving for the conference in Canterbury on Tuesday. The once a decade event ends on 8th August. 

Premier spoke with Rev Dr Ian Paul and Rev Canon Rosie Harper to get their views.

Rev Paul is a member of the Church of England Evangelical Council. Rev Harper a chaplain to the Bishop of Buckingham and a trustee of the Ozanne Foundation- which works with churches to stop discrimination based on sexuality or gender. 

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