Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has publicly condemned a series of homophobic remarks made by a Nigerian Archbishop.
In a 26th February statement, Most Rev Henry C Ndukuba referred to homosexuality as a "deadly virus" and likened it "to a Yeast that should be urgently and radically expunged and excised lest it affects the whole dough”. He also said that “secular governments are adopting aggressive campaign for global homosexual culture".
Archbishop Justin roundly condemned the "unacceptable" remarks. "I completely disagree with and condemn this language," he said. "It dehumanises those human beings of whom the statement speaks."
Archbishop Justin noted that he had personally written to the archbishop to express his displeasure.
"I have written privately to His Grace The Archbishop to make clear that this language is incompatible with the agreed teaching of the Anglican Communion (expressed most clearly, albeit in unsuitable language for today, in paragraphs c and d of resolution I.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998)," he said in a statement. "This resolution both restated a traditional view of Christian marriage and was clear in its condemnation of homophobic actions or words. It affirmed that “all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ."
Archbishop Justin concluded: "The Anglican Communion continues to seek to walk together amidst much difference and through many struggles. I urge all Christians to join me in continuing prayer for the people and churches of Nigeria as they face economic hardship, terrorist attacks, religious-based violence and insecurity.
"The mission of the church is the same in every culture and country: to demonstrate, through its actions and words, that God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ calls us to holiness and hope."
Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York expressed his support for Archbishop Justin’s response.
“I welcome and support @JustinWelby’s clear condemnation of the language used by Archbishop Ndukuba in his recent statement," he wrote. "I share his sorrow that LGBTI+ people across the world will feel less safe as a result.”
Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London tweeted:
"I support the Archbishop's comments and share [his] condemnation of the language used."
Rt Rev John Inge, Bishop of Worcester called Welby's statement "excellent and powerful".
"Very glad to see this," added Church of England clergyman Marcus Walker. "The Archbishop of Canterbury is speaking for most English Anglicans today."