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An Open Letter to the Dean of Belfast

Dear Dean McKelvey,
We wish to register our strong objection to your invitation to the Rt Revd Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, to preach on Sunday 20th February at St Anne's Cathedral Belfast.

On 9th February Bishop Griswold wrote to the Archbishop of Armagh approving of homosexual relationships within the life of the church as follows "Over these years homosexual persons, lay and ordained, have gradually become a vital part of our church. And, as a logical development, congregations have extended a pastoral ministry to their gay and lesbian members. In some congregations there has been acknowledgment of same sex commitments…." He goes on to say that he could not have prevented the consecration in 2003 of Gene Robinson, a practising homosexual, as bishop of New Hampshire under the canons of ECUSA. Yet he and ECUSA were asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury not to proceed with the consecration, and the refusal of ECUSA in this regard has precipitated the worst crisis in the Anglican Communion's history.

The Scripture forbids homosexual practice: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman: it is an abomination." (Lev.18:22) and "For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passion. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men…" (Rom. 1:26-7). At the Lambeth conference in 1998 our Anglican Communion passed Resolution 1:10, which while calling for further listening to the experience of homosexuals follows the scriptural teaching.

In view of these considerations it is impossible to view Dr Griswold as other than a false teacher and one leading his church away from biblical truth. Therefore we urge you, even at this late stage, either to withdraw the invitation to preach or at least to offer a preachment at your cathedral within the next few months to an orthodox Anglican leader who will teach obedience to the scriptures.

19th Feb 2005
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