Current Affairs

Anglican group GAFCON slammed for publishing ‘name and shame’ list of gay clergy members

Joseph McCormick November 15, 2016
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An Anglican group has been criticised for publishing a list of gay clergy members in the Church of England.

The list was released by GAFCON UK, and included clergy known to be in a same-sex relationship.

It also included clergy who have presided over same-sex unions.

Despite the list only including people who were already out, it has been criticised for “naming and shaming” the gay clergy, and that it could lead to abuse.

The list was published criticising the “chaos” in the Church, and was critical of “violations” of the Church’s same-sex marriage ban.

“While orthodox believers certainly hope that the Church of England does not go further in violating Lambeth 1.10, the situation in England as it currently stands is already a scandal within the Anglican Communion,” the list read.

It refers to Lambeth 1.10, the 1998 document which explicitly bans gay clergy from marrying or clergy members in general form overseeing same-sex marriages.

Described as a “partial list” it names “some of the ways in which Lambeth 1.10 has been violated within the Church of England”.

Andrew Foreshew-Cain, a London vicar said the list had “no other purpose other than to make us targets in some way”.

Speaking to Christian Today, he said: “None of us are ashamed. I am legally married and that should be celebrated.”

He added that the note would “encourage the harassment of clergy and lay people… If anyone is ashamed here it should be GAFCON.”

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, who is also a married gay priest described the list as “disgusting” saying it was trying to “target people” .

Tracey Byrne, the chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement described the list as “contemptible”, adding: “It is quite clear that their intention is to ‘name and shame’.

“This goes beyond political strategy – this is a deliberate attempt to deny God’s presence in the lives of real people, and to condemn them by public shaming.”

But Gafcon has denied the allegations, as press officer Reverend Andrew Gross said: “There was never any intention to ‘name and shame’ individuals. How could there be? The document lists public actions taken by individuals who are very proud of what they have been doing. In many of these cases, these activists were actively courting the media in order that their violations of Lambeth 1.10 would have the greatest possible impact.

“For these same activists to then turn around and claim that cataloguing each of their media blitzes is some kind of personal attack is completely disingenuous. The “naming and shaming” narrative was invented by activists in a self-serving attempt to paint themselves as victims. It is completely inaccurate.”

Reverend James Paice, part of the GAFCON UK Taskforce, told Christian Today: “This report is shocking because it shows the extent to which revisionism has infected the the Church of England.” He said CofE leaders had turned a “blind eye to blatant violations” and added more conservative Anglican leaders around the world had “concluded that the Church of England ​is​ a sinking ship”.

Related topics: andrew foreshew-cain, Jeremy Pemberton

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