Open Letter to His Grace, The Archbishop of Cape Town dated 31 January 1999.
You will no doubt be aware of the reports appearing in both English
language dailies in Cape Town regarding the Dean of Cape Town and his espousal
of the homosexual or so-called 'gay' lifestyle. I am writing this letter
to elicit clarity as to whether his views reflect those of the Church to
which he belongs and whether there is likely to be as public a repudiation
of those views as the reports to which I refer.
You headed the committee dealing with this issue at the last Lambeth Conference (gathering of bishops of the worldwide Canterbury Communion) which overwhelmingly repudiated homosexuality. It has, of course, has always been the view of Christianity, from the Apostolic age, through the primitive church period and, until very recently in our own times, that a physical expression of sexuality between persons of the same sex is inconsistent with the Christian faith. Indeed that is still the view of the vast majority of Christians, who very naturally are distressed that a senior cleric should propagate something so clearly against the teaching of Holy Scriptures.
Hence the need for you, sir, to speak clearly, as the head of the Church to which the Dean belongs, giving the mind of those in control of the CPSA (Church of the Province of South Africa). The mind of the Canterbury Communion was very clearly expressed at Lambeth, when bishops voted by 526 to 70 against the blessing of 'gay unions' and the ordination of practising 'gays.' If you support the Dean in what he very publicly stated, are you prepared to inform the laity of the worldwide consequences of your decision, in the light of the so-called Kuala Lumpur Statement, issued by bishops representing approximately sixty six percent of all Anglicans, THAT THEY WOULD EXCOMMUNICATE any part of the Anglican community who supported this pattern of lifestyle. If that were to happen, then CPSA members visiting the areas of jurisdiction of those bishops would be cut off from the sacramental life of the Church.
You may say that this is an internal matter, and has nothing to do with someone not a member of CPSA. However, may I remind you of a further, virtually unanimous resolution of the Lambeth Conference that member churches should seek dialogue with the 'continuing' Anglican churches, with a view to reconciliation. Support for this particular liberal lobby would be a serious hindrance to such talks, not because of our (perceived) homophobia, but because of the duty to call practising 'gays' to repent of a God-forbidden sin. This is underlined by the recent withdrawal by the Eastern Orthodox Church from participation in the discussions of the World Council of Churches, because of that body's liberal agenda, and the pronouncement by the Roman Catholic Church, via the Pope, on 21 January 1999, against the practice of homosexuality and 'gay' unions. Both these bodies are the senior members of the one Holy Catholic Church, to which the CPSA, in its recitations of the Creeds, professes to belong. Unilateral departures from apostolic faith and doctrine, unless authorised by a General Ecumenical Council, have never been, nor ever can be recognised as being in any way valid.
Your reply, sir, is therefore of critical importance to all who own the name of Christianity, and will be a clear indication to Anglicans of the direction in which CPSA is heading.
Yours in Christ's service
The Revd. A. Kenyon-Hoare
Anglican Church in Southern Africa (TR)
19 Mostert Street, Monte Vista 7460. RSA.
[Fr. Kenyon-Hoare told The Messenger on reading the newspaper reports he allowed the Archbishop adequate period in which to take action, which of course didn't happen. He then wrote the open letter via two Cape Town daily newspapers, which was transformed into a very biased article by one of the reporters. However, supportive telephone calls were received and new members were added to his congregation. The Archbishop responded to the open letter via an article in the Cape Argus which was not very complimentary or factual. "I have the feeling that the intransigence of the liberal camp as regards homosexuality needs to be referred to those orthodox bishops that threatened excommunication to unrepentant provinces of the Anglican Communion, particularly those who signed the Kuala Lumpur statement," Fr. Kenyon Hoare said..]
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