Conservative Anglicans have responded with caution to a statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on pastoral care for homosexuals.
The Archbishops sent the statement last week to Primates in the
Anglican Communion, as well as the Presidents of Nigeria and Uganda.
In it, they called for "pastoral care and friendship to all, regardless of sexual orientation".
The letter came after the Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Reverend
Nicholas Okoh, commended Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for
signing a new anti-gay bill into law.
The Archbishops quoted the Dromantine Communiqué of 2005 ruling out
any victimisation or diminishment of people on the grounds of their
"We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and
valued by Him and deserving the best we can give - pastoral care and
friendship," the letter reiterated.
In response, the Chairman of the GAFCON movement of conservative
Anglicans, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, said the intervention of the
Archbishops had served to "encourage those who want to normalise
homosexual lifestyles in Africa and has fuelled prejudice against
"Christians should always show particular care for those who are
vulnerable, but this cannot be separated from the whole fabric of
biblical moral teaching in which the nature of marriage and family
occupy a central place," he said.
Archbishop Wabukala added: "The good advice of the Archbishops of
Canterbury and York would carry much more weight if they were able to
affirm that they hold, personally, as well as in virtue of their office,
to the collegial mind of the Anglican Communion. At the moment I fear
that we cannot be sure."