'Revisions' to be made to Lambeth Call on Human Dignity

(Photo: Lambeth Conference)

Changes are being made to a draft 'Call' at the Lambeth Conference that seeks to reaffirm a traditional interpretation of marriage and sexuality.

The announcement came from conference organisers after a backlash from liberal Anglicans.

Over 650 bishops from around the Anglican Communion are gathering in Canterbury, Kent, for the 2022 Lambeth Conference, which starts today. 

Instead of resolutions, bishops will discuss a set of 'Calls', the most controversial of which is the 'Call on Human Dignity'. 

This Call includes "the reaffirmation of Lambeth 1:10 that upholds marriage as between a man and a woman and requires deeper work to uphold the dignity and witness of LGBTQ Anglicans".

Bishops in the Church in Wales have claimed that the text in the current draft "undermines and subverts the dignity of an integral part of our community, rather than affirming them".

They have pledged to work towards having the text amended.

"Recognising that some provinces will want to affirm the historic understanding of marriage, we wish to assure our LGBT+ sisters and brothers in Christ that we will work to amend this passage to reflect more adequately our understanding of their equal place in the Church," they said. 

Bishops in the US Episcopal Church and Scottish Episcopal Church have also criticised the text.

Bishop Tim Thornton, Chair of the Lambeth Calls Subgroup, issued a statement on Monday saying that changes will be made to the Call. 

"Over recent days we have listened carefully to the responses of bishops to Lambeth Calls: Guidance and Study Documents that was released last week – and especially in relation to the draft Call on Human Dignity," he said.

"The drafting group for the Call on Human Dignity will be making some revisions to the Call. This will be published as part of Lambeth Calls – which will be the texts that will be discussed by bishops at the conference.

"This will be released as soon as it is available."

Changes have also been made to the voting system after criticism from liberal bishops. 

Instead of only two choices - "This Call speaks for me" or "This Call requires further discernment" - a third option has been introduced, "This call does not speak for me."

Bishop Thornton added, "Please continue to pray for all the bishops attending the Lambeth Conference – that we may continue to listen, walk and witness together to the love of Jesus Christ."