Sunday, July 12, 2009

Archbishop of Canterbury's Message to General Convention

The Archbishop of Canterbury addressed various groups at General Convention in different venues and ways during his time with s. This included a private session with representatives of the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) community of the church, which I heard from someone who was a part of that conversation, was moving for all involved. The article that I am linking below from Episcopal Life On-Line, contains the full text of the Archbishop of Canterbury's meditation at the Eucharist this past Tuesday, July 9. The first few paragraphs are particularly worth noting.

Essentially, the Archbishop of Canterbury continues to call the Episcopal Church to patience and restraint concerning the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the Church. This has been his counsel to us for the last six plus years. His message appeals to that part of me that longs for calm and a restored sense of equilibrium in our Church, both domestically and overseas, after years of painful turmoil. Still, each time I hear the Archbishop of Canterbury counsel patience and restraint, and suggest to us that more time is needed, I can't help thinking of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sitting in a Birmingham jail cell, writing a letter to a group of white clergymen who had been counselling King and his followers to be patient and show restraint in their demands for equal rights and treatment under the law. More time is needed, these white clergymen were saying to black Americans whose rights and and claims to equal treatment had been denied for the whole of American history.

"Time is morally neutral," Dr King responded to those white clergymen from his Birmingham jail cell, writing on paper that had been smuggled in to him, "and history has shown that time has been used more effectively by people of ill will than people of good will."

As gay and lesbian persons are harassed and tortured in this nation and around the world, as laws are passed calling for homosexual persons to be imprisoned for seven years, as was done in Nigeria with the open support and endorsement of the Primate of Nigeria, I can't help feeling that the treatment of the GLBT community in the Church and in the world is a justice issue, and that Dr. King's prophetic words should challenge the Archbishop of Canterbury and us all.

For the full text of the Archbishop's reflection, see

Click here: Episcopal Life Online - NEWS

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