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The Haines Pastoral Statement - why was it necessary?

We are a group of faithful Anglicans, who are committed to the supreme authority of the Scriptures as the means whereby our Lord Jesus Christ rules over His Church. As Bible Christians, we therefore welcome the recent Lambeth Conference Resolution I.10 on Human Sexuality, and particularly its recognition of the significance of the Kuala Lumpar Statement.

 

However, we are puzzled and disturbed that a significan minority of bishops (including four from Ireland, Archbishop Eames, Bishops Clarke, Darling and Neill) saw it necessary to undermine this resolution by signing a further document, viz., A Pastoral Statement to Lesbian and Gay Anglicans.

 

We are told that this document is 'a sign of our commitment to listen to you'. Since the Lambeth Resolution already pledges this (Resolution I.10c), we must ask -
why was this statement necessary?

 

Furthermore this letter states, 'We must not stop where the Conference has left off.' But the Conference does not view its resolution as an end in itself - further work by the Primates and the ACC is requested (Resolution I.10f). Again we must ask -
why was this statement necessary?

 

The Pastoral Statement also pledges its signatories to 'continue to reflect, pray, and work for your [i.e. homosexuals'] full inclusion in the life of the Church'. The Lambeth Resolution assures homosexual Christians that 'they are loved by God . . . and full members of the body of Christ' (c) and 'calls on all our people to minister to all irrespective of sexual orientation' (d). If this is not 'full inclusion in the life of the Church', we would call upon the Irish signatories to indicate exactly what they mean by this phrase. To date they have not addressed this issue.

 

As loyal Anglicans we continue to support the Resolution as passed by the Lambeth Conference.

11th Jan 1999
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