Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement following a meeting with the Archbishop, bishops and senior clergy of the Anglican Church of Ghana

Nov 13, 2021 by

by Justin Welby:

On 3rd November, I met online with the Anglican Archbishop of Ghana, the Most Revd Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith, and several bishops and senior clergy from the Anglican Church of Ghana. We discussed their response to the draft Bill that is before the Ghanaian parliament, aimed at strengthening family life but including within it provision for the criminalisation of many LGBTQI+ people.

 I welcomed this conversation, which should have happened before my previous statement. That is not mere diplomacy: Christ commands us to speak directly and prayerfully with our brothers and sisters. I apologised for failing to do so.

We affirmed that the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 represents the last and most widely accepted statement by the Anglican Communion on the question of human sexuality.

We agreed that all human beings are made in God’s image and are worthy of love, respect and dignity, and that the Church of Jesus Christ is called to demonstrate the love of God by protecting all vulnerable people and communities.

This was a conversation between equals: I have no authority over the Church of Ghana, nor would I want any. I say that partly because of Britain’s colonial history in Ghana, but also because of the very nature of the Anglican Communion. We are a global family of churches who are autonomous but interdependent: a holy, catholic, apostolic Church bound together by history, sacraments, liturgy, and the love of Jesus Christ for each and every person.

Read here


See Also: Statement by Gafcon GBE made before news of Archbishop Justin’s apology became public, included in November Prayer News (scroll down for section on Ghana):

The Church Times reported on 27 October how the Archbishop of Canterbury has publicly rebuked the Anglican Church of Ghana for supporting a draft Bill proposing to criminalise LGBT identity and same sex relationships. The Archbishop’s intervention has been followed by a number of Church of England bishops, and a statement which supporters can sign has been set up on the evangelical blog site Psephizo.

Some points to bear in mind in response:

  • How can we best express our desire to see all people, especially historically despised minorities, treated with justice and dignity?
  • In making critical statements about our brothers and sisters in different cultures, can we be honest about our motivation: is it genuine concern for the global church, or ‘virtue signalling’ to peers in the West?
  • As we pray and consider action, we could ask ourselves: do we actually have any relationship with the Church in Ghana? Do we understand the local context? How will they feel about being told what to do by affluent white Europeans, especially those who showed no interest in their country and church before this?
  • The Church in Ghana has distinguished between those with same sex attraction and those involved in same sex relationships, and has called for an end for “harassment” of LGBT people. In what ways could this positive shift become a basis for engagement in fellowship with the Ghanaian church, building on shared concern for upholding of biblical truth and wholesome family life, standing together against negative impacts of secular Western ideologies, showing compassion and pastoral care for individuals struggling with sexual attraction and gender identity issues?




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