LAMBETH: Liberals Erecting "A Great Wall," says North African Bishop
By Hans Zeiger in Canterbury
August 1, 2008
CANTERBURY-The soft-spoken Bishop of Egypt, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa today stated his outrage at the "great wall being put up by the revisionists" at the Lambeth Conference. The Rt. Rev. Mouneer Anis, also a medical doctor, said that the Communion's divisions over homosexuality are symptomatic of "a much deeper illness."
In an afternoon press conference at the University of Kent, Bishop Anis explained that he decided to attend the decennial Lambeth Conference "to debate and discuss with those I agree with and don't agree with." But after two weeks of "Indaba" discussion group sessions and meetings with the Archbishop of Canterbury to repair the broken Anglican Communion, Anis admitted his uneasiness.
"I see a great wall being put up by revisionists against those orthodox who believe in the authority of Scripture," Anis wrote in a separate printed statement that he distributed to the press. "The revisionists among us push upon us the view that current secular culture and not the Bible should shape our mission and morals. In this we are not divided by mere trivialities, or issues on the periphery of faith but on essentials. I am shocked to say that we are finding it very hard to come together on even the essentials of the faith we once received from the Apostles."
Case in point: the massive in-your-face presence of Anglican homosexual activists at Lambeth. "Everywhere we go here, we meet gay & lesbian activists, receive their news letters or read about their many events. Many seem to be supported by North American churches. They are intent to push their agenda on us. No other lobbying groups seem to enjoy similar access, or to be able to have their literature prominently displayed all over the campus and at the entrance to every residence. They are determined that their way is the only right way and that everyone else should follow."
Anis has had enough of the "advocacy of unscriptural practices." He diagnosed sexual obsession as "a new form of slavery: a slavery to modern secular culture and to immoral desires and lusts."
Some people, he said, would have the church "be driven by the culture, not by the Scripture. If we allow this to happen, we would lose our distinctiveness as a church."
Anis said that opposition to a proposed Anglican Covenant is coming from North Americans who have determined their own agenda apart from orthodox Anglicans. He said that the North American resistance to the larger Communion reminds him of America's "arrogance" in Iraq. The North Americans "don't want anyone else in the world telling them what to do," he said. "They really want to push this lifestyle on us."
Anis said that he chose not to attend last month's Global Anglican Future Conference in the Holy Land because "I was concerned that GAFCON would be a separate movement." But he said that GAFCON "had a lot of positive outcomes, and it was useful for this conference."
Anis holds out hope that the Anglican Communion can be preserved as The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada "withdraw from international Anglican Councils and bodies. This will create a safe distance for them to consider their priorities, while also allowing the wider communion to move forward with its shared priorities and mission and to clear away the mess created by the current crisis."
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