Saturday, 4 November 2006

Latimer Fellowship Protest on the Ordination of a Man in a Same-sex Relationship in the Diocese of Dunedin, New Zealand

PRESS RELEASE 2 : 04.11.06

Statement of Protest

We have publicly expressed our protest at the actions of the Bishop of Dunedin in ordaining a man in a same-sex relationship for the following reasons.

It ignores the clear teaching of the Bible on matters of human sexuality. We cannot call holy what the Bible does not call holy, nor can we bless behaviour that does not belong in the kingdom of God.

2. It disregards 2000 years of the Christian understanding of the Bible on which the Anglican Church is founded. The church from the very first days has insisted on either marriage or celibacy for its ordained ministers, and the Anglican Church has always affirmed this.

3. It violates the rules of our Church and denies those who disagree with the Bishop the right to a fair hearing and due process. The Bishop of Dunedin is not authorised or free to apply the rules of the Church merely subject to his own opinions.

4. It dismisses the call for a “moratorium” on such actions from the leaders of the Anglican Church worldwide and deepens the current crisis that is in the words of the Communion’s Archbishops “tearing the fabric” of the Anglican Communion.

5. It completely undermines the process of careful listening and conversation that the General Synod and our Archbishops have requested by unilaterally acting in a way that effectively shuts down all debate.

Therefore we appeal to the Archbishops of this church and the whole House of Bishops, as “guardians” of the Church’s discipline, to break their silence. As Bishops called to “promote peace and unity among all God’s people”, we ask them to “keep the Church true to its faith” by publicly dissenting from the Bishop of Dunedin’s actions. For not to do so will give tacit approval to the Bishop’s actions and will precipitate a constitutional crisis in our Church.

Revd Malcolm Falloon
Warden of the Latimer Fellowship
Vicar of Bryndwr, Christchurch

Phone: 03 351 4931