by Max Ramsay
An open letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York has been signed by 105 senior Anglicans…
The letter asks the Archbishops to accept the church has mistreated LGBT people and to “repent” at a meeting of worldwide Anglican church leaders.
Those who signed the letter hope Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishops, will take “an unequivocal message” to the meeting.
The letter is critical of the church. “We have made [LGBT Christians] feel second-class citizens,” it says.
“We, the Church, need to apologise for our part in perpetuating rather than challenging ill-informed beliefs about LGBTI people, such as the slanderous view that homosexuals have a predisposition to prey on the young.”
The meeting of Primates is a gathering of the chief Anglican bishops from each of the 38 church regions around the world, including countries with a poor record on LGBT rights.
On this issue, the letter says: “We understand that the Primates come from a variety of contexts with differing ways of interpreting the Scriptures, but we urge you to be prophetic in your action and Christ-like in your love towards our LGBTI sisters and brothers.”
There are fears church ministers from Kenya and Uganda will walk out over disagreements about LGBT acceptance in the church, BBC religious affairs correspondent Caroline Wyatt has reported.
The letter was organised by Jayne Ozanne, former director of the Accepting Evangelicals group which campaigns for LGBT Christians’ rights.
“It was time to stand tall and actually call the Church back to its roots to reminding them about the fact that we are there to welcome and serve all,” she said to BBC News.
“We have not treated the gay community as equal members. We’ve actually vilified them.”
Journalist Patrick Strudwick was critical of the church’s continued failure to uphold LGBT equality: