Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jamaica Speaks

[Editor's Note: There is a tendency throughout the Anglican blogosphere to characterize the "Global South" as if all the primates, clergy, and laity speak in one voice. Occasionally we remember that they do not. Occasionally we recall, or hear statements, that remind us there are divergent voices in the "Global South" just as there are in the churches of the Americas, UK, and throughout the Anglican Communion. It is a pleasure to reprint this story issued by Episcopal News Service. Bishop Alfred Reid of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands serves under the Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies. -- Lisa Fox]

JAMAICA: Bishop chides Nigerian primate, Virginia parishes
Tuesday, December 19, 2006

[Episcopal News Service] A Jamaican newspaper reports that Bishop Alfred Reid of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands has said his diocese does not support the decision of the members of two prominent Virginia parishes to leave the Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Church of Nigeria.

"The Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands wishes to state that it is not a party to, nor does it support the action of the two congregations in the Diocese of Virginia, USA, which have voted to secede from the Episcopal Church of the USA over the issue of the ordination of Gene Robinson, a self-confessed homosexual, as bishop of New Hampshire," Bishop Reid said in a statement issued late December 18, according to the Jamaica Observer.

"The Church does not agree with the action of the Archbishop of Nigeria - Peter Akinola - in seeking to create a schism within the global Anglican Communion by facilitating the two Virginia churches in their break away," Reid said.

"Archbishop Akinola knows full well that the leadership of the worldwide Anglican Communion has been at pains to seek to deal in a holistic and timely manner with the issues raised ever since Robinson's ordination," he added.

Reid said that immediately following Robinson's consecration, "the Church in the Province of the West Indies took a clear position, in which we emphatically disagreed with that ordination and took our stand on the agreement reached by the bishops at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 - (Resolution 1:10) which states that homosexual behaviour is contrary to Scripture and therefore is inappropriate as a lifestyle to those who aspire to leadership in the Church."

Reid pointed to the appointment of the Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, by the Archbishop of Canterbury to chair a committee for the establishment of a covenant to guide the entire Communion in the way forward.

"It should be emphasised that the Church in Jamaica, in collegiality with others in the Province of the West Indies and the rest of the worldwide Communion, seeks to work for consensus, not divisiveness, and to maintain the fellowship of the Communion without compromising its integrity," Reid said. "It is in that spirit that ongoing discussions on the most contentious and often painful matter will be conducted."


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