Gafcon Gay Clergy List Prompts Hundreds To Sign 'Proud List Of Violators'
Hundreds of Anglicans have signed up to a website signalling their dissent at the Church of England's teaching on homosexuality.
Lambeth110.com was launched on Tuesday and hours later more than 250 individuals and organisations had signed up. The site was prompted by an initial "partial list" of clergy known to be in same-sex relationships or who have officiated over gay unions, which was released by the conservative lobby group GAFCON UK.
The original list was published as a 'briefing' for conservative Anglican bishops on the situation in the CofE. A spokesman for GAFCON insisted there was never an intention to 'name and shame' individuals. The document lists "violations" of the landmark Anglican resolution on sexuality known as Lambeth 1.10 and urged bishops to "restore order and a credible Christian witness".
The briefing added church leaders "would need to take constructive steps to rectify the numerous public (and presumably private) breaches that have been strategically taken by some to undermine the teaching of the Communion."
But gay clergy and those who support changing the Church's teaching on same-sex relationships mocked the document as a "list of heroes" and a "list of fame". Lambeth110.com was launched as a "proud list of violators" of the resolution. The signatories include Christians from the United States, Canada and Scotland as well as England and Wales.
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) have also announced their own "Rainbow List" and have asked followers to nominate "out and proud LGBT Christians".
The row comes at a time of increased tension within the CofE as senior bishops meet to discuss whether to introduce some form of official welcome or blessing in church for gay couples. The bishops will make recommendations before the ruling general synod votes on the change in February.
Lambeth 1.10 was agreed on by the bishops across the worldwide Anglican Communion in 1998. Every ten years the bishops meet to express "the mind of the communion" and resolutions passed are influential but have no legal effect as all the separate national and regional churches are autonomous.
Lambeth 1.10 is seen as the pillar of conservative theology within the Church. It recognises that "there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation."
It goes on: "We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ."
Although it says "homosexual practices" are "incompatible with Scripture", it "calls 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."
A Church of England spokesman declined to comment when asked about the list.