Anglicans on FB and the net urge Williams to repent

The Facebook group “Anglicans who want THIS statement from Canterbury” has already gathered over three thousand members and attracted the attention of the mainstream media. At the same time other groups have petitioned the Archbishop to speak out.

Riazat Butt at the Guardian writes:

Thousands of Anglicans have urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to repent following his tepid response to the election of a lesbian bishop in the US.

Members of a Facebook group, set up last Wednesday, accuse Rowan Williams of failing to “exercise moral leadership to protect gays and lesbians in Uganda and has instead exercised political pressure to attack a bishop-elect in Los Angeles because she is a lesbian”….

…Signatories to the group include US bishops and former staff members of Lambeth Palace, the archbishop’s official residence, according to the group co-ordinator Susan Russell, who is a past president of Integrity USA, which works for the full inclusion of lesbians, gays and transsexuals in the Anglican communion.

The purpose of the FB interest group is to

“…call on+Rowan Williams to repent of his earlier statement and issue this one instead:

“The proposed legal actions that would make homosexuality punishable by death in Uganda, and the lack of outrage regarding this proposed action by the Church of Uganda, raises very serious questions not just for the Church of Uganda and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.”

Episcopal News Service reports:

A coalition of British Anglican organizations that supports the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Christians has expressed disappointment with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for his “repeated intervention in the affairs” of the Episcopal Church after he issued a statement of concern within 12 hours of the Diocese of Los Angeles electing the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool, an openly gay and partnered woman, as bishop suffragan.

The LGBT Anglican Coalition said in a statement that it “warmly welcomes” the Dec. 5 election of Glasspool but that it was “gravely disappointed” to see Williams imply in a Dec. 6 statement that the Episcopal Church should not consent to Glasspool’s ordination and consecration as a bishop.

The LGBT Anglican Coalition also bemoaned Williams’ “complete unwillingness to speak publicly about the Church of Uganda bishops’ support for what is universally seen as oppressive and homophobic legislation in that country.” The Ugandan Parliament is considering a bill that would introduce the death penalty for people who violate portions of that country’s anti-homosexuality laws, although recent reports are saying that politicians might be bowing to public pressure and reconsidering the severity of punishments proposed in the legislation.

“If the archbishop is to retain any credibility at all he needs to reconsider,” the LGBT Anglican Coalition said in its Dec. 10 statement. “This double standard of justice is frankly perverse. It appears to most people in Britain to be a disgraceful acquiescence in the demands of homophobic pressure groups both in England and in the communion.”

The statement was signed by the Rev. Benny Hazlehurst, Accepting Evangelicals; the Rev. Colin Coward, Changing Attitude; Jeremy Marks, Courage; Mike Dark, Evangelical Fellowship of Lesbian and Gay Christians; Canon Giles Goddard, Inclusive Church; the Rev. Sharon Ferguson, Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement; the Rev. Christina Beardsley, Sibyls; as well as the Clergy Consultation.

Read the rest of the statement here.

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