Australia's first Anglican Church to apologize to the LGBTI community.
There is a heavy burden the Christian church carries. It is the burden of homophobia, the side-lining
of the hurt of GLBTI people as an urgent issue but above all the denial of the
reality GLBTI people exist within the church and who need to heard.
This depletes its resources and discredits its reputation and is a
major break on its ability to be an effective carrier of the good news of Jesus
Instead, many who profess to be of genuine Christian commitment have
uttered words of censure, condemnation or a heavily conditional acceptance.
We have received these messages as a denial of our basic God given
human dignity, that we are not worthy of being in the church, that we are
really unwelcome, that we are an abomination.
These words have caused deep and lasting hurt and wounds. Their
repetition reopens and deepens those wounds.
Many of us have struggled with depression and anxiety.
Many have kept this crucial aspect of our lives secret – from loved
ones, work colleagues, close friends
Many, too many, have chosen death as the only way out of the anguish
caused by these sentiments.
And, when some get sick, such as with being diagnosed with HIV, a new
round of blame and accusation starts. Censure and stigma piled on censure and
The trouble is the noise drowns out the consistent and gentle voice of
God who says ‘I love you’ in the only way God knows in the birth, life, death
and resurrection of the one we call Jesus the Christ.
The reliance on a few texts has nothing to do with Jesus the Christ, who
promised to lift our burdens and not impose more, who promised life – and in
its abundance, who said that he chooses us and imposed no caveats on that
As I am associated with the church and therefore those who have uttered
these things I want to dissociate myself from their content and affirm that we
are all loved by God – no ifs or buts – no conditions.
So for the noise when your voices have been drowned out and for the
silences when something should have been said I’m sorry.
I commit myself to living and being the difference and the new way of
Fr Stuart Soley
Saturday 19 July 2014
Read Anthony Venn-Brown's address and response here
Images courtesy of Hadden Media Group
Labels: LGBT apology