Statement on Rwanda and Lambeth resolutions and criminalisation of consensual sexual acts.
Anglican Diocese of Sydney
The Diocese of Sydney joined representatives from Anglican churches from 52 countries recently at the Global Anglican Future Conference in Rwanda.
The conference communique, known as the Kigali Commitment, upheld the position on human sexuality articulated by the Lambeth Conference in 1998. Lambeth Resolution 1.10 declared that ‘homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture’. However, it called "on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex".
Echoing this, the Kigali Commitment stated, “We affirm that every person is loved by God and we are determined to love as God loves. As Resolution 1.10 affirms, we oppose the vilification or demeaning of any person including those who do not follow God’s ways, since all human beings are created in God’s image. We are thankful to God for all those who seek to live a life of faithfulness to God’s Word in the face of all forms of sexual temptation.”
The communique committed participants to providing appropriate pastoral care to all people in our churches.
In our local context, it is well known that we did not support the ‘yes’ case in the Marriage Plebiscite however we did support a series of legislative changes, beginning in 2008, which granted rights to same-sex couples similar to those of other de facto relationships. These changes removed obstacles to inheritance rights and other matters.
In 2019, our Synod declared it:
(a) Deplores and condemns any behaviour that is disrespectful, bullying or abusive, and recognises and rejoices in the image of God as reflected in every human being, regardless of race, social circumstances, creed or sexual identity.
(b) Commits itself to fostering churches and fellowships where compassion and grace abound and where the love of God is expressed to all, so that our churches and ministries are welcoming, safe and respectful of all people, including those who identify as LGBTI.
As Archbishop of Sydney, I believe that the statements our Synod has made and our international commitments speak for themselves. We are determined to love as God loves and to uphold his plan for human sexuality. We do not believe that criminalisation of consensual sexual activity between adults is appropriate. Together with Anglican Christians from Africa and around the world, we long for all people to experience the transforming love of Jesus.
Kanishka Raffel, Archbishop of Sydney, June 15, 2023