African primates issue statement on sexuality

Some of the primates and their wives with members of the standing committee who attended a recent two-day meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa in Claremont, South Africa. Photo: CAPA/Anglican Communion
Some of the primates and their wives with members of the standing committee who attended a recent two-day meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa in Claremont, South Africa. Photo: CAPA/Anglican Communion
By on March 26, 2015

The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) has urged Anglican churches in the West to “refrain from making unilateral decisions” regarding human sexuality, saying it will further divisions in the Anglican Communion.

In a statement released earlier this month, CAPA said that by adopting more liberal teachings on human sexuality, these churches “not only contradict the traditional teaching of the scripture but also impede our witness to the Gospel, which is the reason of our presence in this world.” While the council does “accept diversity,” it does not accept “diversity on the expense of the truth,” it added.

Primates representing the provinces of Burundi, Central Africa, Indian Ocean, Southern Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and the diocese of Egypt issued the statement after its meeting on March 9 and 10 at Bishopscourt, Claremont, South Africa.

While the statement did not specifically refer to the blessings of same-sex marriages, practiced by some, the council will “continue to uphold the traditional biblical teaching in regard to human sexuality and marriage and affirm Lambeth Resolution 1:10 in its entirety.”

Lambeth Resolution 1.10, passed at the Lambeth Conference of 1998, states that the Anglican Communion “cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same-sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

CAPA’s statement also expressed support for the Archbishop of Canterbury in his efforts to “bring restoration” to the Communion and affirmed the “necessity” of a Primates’ Meeting.

Only 23 of the Communion’s 38 primates attended the last Primates’ Meeting, which was held in Dublin in 2011. Seven of the absent primates—from the provinces of the Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Nigeria, Uganda, Southeast Asia, the Province of the Southern Cone in South America and the Province of West Africa—boycotted the meeting, saying the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church failed to abide by Resolution 1.10.

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