Willams expresses shock, seeks clarification from Akinola

Saturday update: Josh Thomas’s take on all of this is here.

Friday updates:

Evening update:. Episcopal Cafe has received word from UPI that they cannot confirm that NAN’s September 2 report of remarks by Bishop Orama will be retracted. Contact NAN for that information.

UPI’s Africa Monitoring service is a pass-through of NAN and other African news agency stories. UPI does not vouch for their accuracy. The UPI tag was added to this story in error. However, given the uncertainty now surrounding the story we have removed it from our site and informed customers receiving the Africa Monitoring material that we have done so.

Afternoon update: The Church of Nigeria is denying that Bishop Orama made the statments attributed to him. The Living Church has a story here. It reports Canon AkinTunde Popoola’s claim that a reporter from the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria has apologized for misquoting the bishop, but doesn’t identify the reporter or say how the agency plans to respond to a mistake of this magnitude. A statement from the reporter–either independently or via the agency, and a copy of the bishop’s speech to his synod would go a long way toward clearing this up. Stay tuned.

From the Anglican Communion Office:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has expressed deep shock at remarks said to have been made by the Bishop of Uyo, Nigeria, the Rt Revd Isaac Orama concerning gay and lesbian people.

The Archbishop will be contacting the Archbishop of Nigeria, Dr Peter Akinola, to seek clarification. Dr Williams said “The safety of people of gay and lesbian sexual orientation is a matter of concern for us all. The Anglican Primates, along with all other official bodies in the Anglican Communion, have consistently called for an end to homophobia, violence and hatred. If these reports are correct I would urge the bishop to apologise. Such comments are unacceptable and profoundly shocking on the lips of any Christian”.

Canon James M Rosenthal

Anglican Communion Office

St Andrew’s House

Director of Communications

16 Tavistock Crescent

London W11 1AP UK

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