“ The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Reverend Henry C Ndukuba, issued a statement on Friday 26 February 2021 which referred to “the deadly ‘virus’ of homosexuality”. The statement goes on to use phrases like, “[homosexuality] is likened to a Yeast that should be urgently and radically expunged and excised lest it affects the whole dough”. It also states that “secular governments are adopting aggressive campaign for global homosexual culture.” (sic)
I completely disagree with and condemn this language. It is unacceptable.It dehumanises those human beings of whom the statement speaks.”
I am with the Archbishop of Canterbury when he speaks firmly and clearly in respect of ++Ndukuba, Primate of Nigeria's recent condemnatory statement agains both homosexuality and ACNA's "toleration" of it - see post below this.
But a thread of comments to a Thinking Anglicans post on the statement - see here - poses some challenging questions about our Communion's life as a global fellowship of Anglicans confessing some kind of intent to be Anglican.
Within the TA comments is reference to another thread of comments re the ++Welby statement, on ++Welby's Facebook page, in which Nigerians comment thus: (in my words):
- ++Welby should not tell Nigerian Anglicans what to do, that's straight up British colonialism, again.
- doubling down on the ++Ndukuba condemnation of homosexuality and toleration of it.
Then - back to the TA thread - there are comments to the effect of "the Anglican Communion's hardly a Communion, is it?"
All a bit Anglicanly depressing!
There is a kind of thread through such commentary towards a better future for the Communion, though the required will to find the thread would need to also be found if the future is to be better.
That thread would be:
- acceptance that the role of the ABC in respect of the Communion is to speak and such speaking is not to be dismissed as a renewal of colonialism;
- acceptance that the Communion includes many contexts and those contexts (whether we like it or not, agree or not) make a difference to how we approach, discuss and locally determine some matters;
- acceptance that on matters of controversy within the Communion, the path to Communion-wide agreement is only through the Communion's structures (e.g. the role of the ABC, the Primates, Lambeth and ACC) and through respectful conversation with and within those structural means for meeting together.
Is it unrealistic to propose that the Anglican Communion's future lies precisely in a regathering of Anglican provinces which commit to being a communion undergirded by the three acceptances above?