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GSFA publishes its own resolution reaffirming traditional view of marriage ahead of Lambeth Conference sexuality discussion

by Kelly Valencia

This comes as bishops are expected to discuss and share their views on the Call on Human Dignity on Tuesday - a motion to discuss, among other topics, the provinces' views on same-sex marriage.

Last week, the draft Call on Human Dignity was amended to include the plurality of views within the Anglican Communion on same-sex marriage.

It initially included Resolution 1.10 from 1998, which reaffirms the traditional view of marriage. But after strong backlash by liberal voices within the Communion, organisers decided to remove that part of the resolution.

Anglican Communion churches such as the Episcopal Church in the US and the Church in Wales already bless same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Melter Tais, Primate of the Province of South East Asia, and part of the GSFA, told Premier Christian News he is not ready to agree to disagree on the topic.

“We are bishops, we're supposed to defend the truth of the scripture, the word of God,” he said.

“I don't believe in agree to disagree. We need to come back to what the Bible says. And because of the going astray from the scripture, this has torn apart the fabric of our Anglican Communion, the unity of the Anglican Communion."

Archbishop Melter rejected the idea that the Bible can be interpreted differently and maintained that the Bible is clear on homosexuality.

Disappointed with the decision, the GFSA announced on Friday several measures in protest, including the publication of the text reaffirming Lambeth 1.10 as the Anglican Communion's teaching on marriage and sexuality as well abstaining from taking Communion in those services attended by same-sex spouses. 

The text of the resolution is almost identical to that of the Lambeth 1.10 in 1998.

It "upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union," commits to "listen to the experience of homosexual persons" and wishes "to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ".

It also says that "while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture," it also calls "on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation".

It only differs in a sub-section that “urges that renewed steps be taken to ensure that all Provinces abide by this doctrine in their faith, order & practice”.

The GFSA said at least 250 bishops are expected to sign in their support.

It's understood the process is completely anonymous and only the number of bishops in each province will be revealed.

Ahead of the Call on Human Dignity session the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote a letter affirming the validity of a Lambeth 1:10, and also restated the plurality of views within the Anglican Communion on sexuality.

“I write therefore to affirm that the validity of the resolution passed at the Lambeth Conference 1998, 1:10 is not in doubt and that whole resolution is still in existence. Indeed the Call on Human Dignity made clear this is the case, as the resolution is quoted from three times in the paragraph 2.3 of the Call on Human Dignity,” he wrote.

He added: “The Call states that many Provinces – and I think we need to acknowledge it Is the majority – continue to affirm that same-gender marriage is not permissible. The Call also states that other provinces have blessed and welcomed same sex union/marriage, after careful theological reflection and a process of reception.

“In that way, the Call states the reality of life in the Communion today”.

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