Tuesday, July 07, 2009
The Queen has sent "supportive" letters to the leaders of a controversial church movement that has angered homosexuality campaigners.
By Martin Beckford and Jonathan Wynne-Jones
The Telegraph UK
She told the heads of the traditionalist group, formed in response to the liberal direction of some parts of the Anglican Communion, that she “understood their concerns” about the future of the 80 million-strong global church.
The Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has also wished them well with today’s launch in London of a new alliance of evangelical and Anglo-Catholic parishes in Britain and Ireland.
One leading evangelical said: “We found the letters very supportive.”
Her intervention will surprise many because the group, called the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, is feared by some to be a divisive force and one of its senior figures was this weekend accused of being homophobic.
As The Sunday Telegraph disclosed, the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, called on homosexuals to repent. He said the Church of England must stick to the Biblical teaching that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
“We want to hold on to the traditional teaching of the Church. We don’t want to be rolled over by culture and trends in the Church,” said the bishop, one of the most senior religious figures in England.
In response, Peter Tatchell, the veteran gay rights campaigner, said last night: “Homophobia is a social and moral evil, just like racism. Bigotry, even in the guise of religion, has no place in a compassionate, caring society.
“I call on the Bishop to repent his homophobia. His prejudice goes against Christ’s gospel of love and compassion.”...(Remainder.)