LAMBETH: South Asia Bishops Take Stand Against Homosexuality. Call for Humility and Healing and Walk Calvary Road
A Statement by the Bishops from South Asia
We, the Bishops from the united churches of South Asia which include the Church of South India (1947), Church of North India (1970), Church of Pakistan (1970)'and the Church of Bangladesh (1972), present at the Lambeth Conference 2008 have embodied the unity of God's Church in fulfillment of our Lord's high priestly prayer "that they may all be one".
We represent nearly a quarter of the human race practicing and living all the major faiths of the world. We are grateful for our heritage of different church traditions which have contributed to our formation. The Anglican Communion, being the one common thread, connecting us all. As united and uniting churches and full and integral members of the Anglican Communion, we wish to say that:
1. We bear witness to the Triune God and to the unity of His Church as one, holy, catholic and apostolic.
2. We applaud the initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury in organizing the Walk of Witness on the London Day highlighting urgent issues of poverty, deprivation, exploitation and disease in the world and demanding speedy implementation of Millennium Development Goals.
We call upon the Anglican Communion to seriously take up this challenge and help to restore the dignity of the exploited and abused humanity. This will certainly mean an equitable sharing of resources within the Communion.
3. We urge the Communion to stand in solidarity with the marginalized and oppressed religious minorities and work for equitable justice to all especially to the women, children and dalits of South Asia and in other parts of the world as members of the one Body of Christ; for if one member suffers we all suffer. This needs to be expressed in tangible terms through living and supporting relationships.
4. However, we are saddened and disturbed by the fractured nature of the Anglican Communion today which seems primarily to have been caused by the issue of human sexuality. We do feel the pain of the absence of some bishops who have kept themselves away from this fellowship. We acknowledge the biblical norms on human sexuality and urge that within the Anglican Communion this may be upheld for the effective witness of the Gospel.
We desire that the matter may be resolved by a continuing process of listening and healing where we may be willing to forgive and accept one another generously and move towards true reconciliation.
5. So, we invite the whole Communion to do some heart-searching and in humility walk the Calvary Road so that our differences, self-justifications and arrogant attitudes may be crucified and that we all experience the power of the resurrection for the transformation of our life together in the Communion.
Signed on behalf of the participating Bishops at the Lambeth Conference 2008.
The Most Rev John Gladstone, Church of South India
The Rt Rev Brojen Malakar, Church of North India
The Most Revd. Dr. Alexander Malik, Church of Pakistan
The Most Revd Paul S. Sarker, Church of Bangladesh
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