Σημαντικές εξελίξεις ανάμεσα στους Αγγλικανούς: Γάμος είναι η ένωση ανδρός και γυναικός

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Του Ζιμπάμπουε Σεραφείμ Κυκκώτη*******

Σε πρόσφατη Σύναξη των Προκαθημένων της Αγγλικανικής Κοινωνίας (εκατόν εκατομμύρια πιστοί) που προέδρευσε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος του Καντέρπουρι Ιουστίνος (11 -15 Ιανουαρίου 2016) στην έδρα του για θέματα του Γάμου τόνισαν με σαφήνεια ότι οι Αγγλικανοί πρέπει να μείνουν πιστοί στην Αγία Γραφή και στη Παράδοση της Εκκλησίας για το θέμα του θεσμού του Γάμου και να κατανοηθεί ως η ένωση ανδρός και γυναικός.

 Η σύναξη δεν λειτούργησε χωρίς προβλήματα, με την έννοια ότι η Επισκοπιανή Εκκλησία των Η.Π.Α. και του Καναδά, που αποτελούν μέλη της Αγγλικανικής Κοινωνίας, προχώρησαν ήδη αυθαίρετα στην ευλογία γάμου ατόμων του ιδίου φύλου. Ο Αγγλικανός Αρχιεπίσκοπος της Ουγάνδας Stanley έθεσε ως όρο για να συνεχίσει νάναι παρών στην Σύναξη να αποκλεισθούν της συμμετοχής οι Προκαθήμενοι από τις Η.Π.Α. και τον Καναδά. Η πρόταση του απορρίφθηκε με αποτέλεσμα να αποχωρήσει αμέσως της σύναξης.

Αυτό που έχει όμως μεγαλύτερη σημασία είναι ότι με πρόταση του Αρχιεπισκόπου του Κάντερπουρι Ιουστίνου που είναι επικεφαλής της Αγγλικανικής Κοινωνίας, κατέληξαν σε μια συμφωνία που μεταξύ άλλων τονίζουν ότι ο γάμος είναι η ένωση ανδρός και γυναικός. Ταυτόχρονα αποφάσισαν για περίοδο τριών ετών να αποκλειστούν της Αγγλικανικής Κοινωνίας οι Επισκοπιανοί των Η.Π.Α. και του Καναδά και να μη συμμετέχουν σε κανένα όργανό τους, ούτε να εκπροσωπούν την Αγγλικανική Κοινωνία σε οποιονδήποτε Θεολογικό Διάλογο κι ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος του Καντέρπουρι Ιουστίνος στην περίοδο των τριών αυτών χρόνων να προσπαθήσει να τους επαναφέρει στην κανονική διδασκαλία της Εκκλησίας περί του Γάμου.

Αξίζει να αναφέρουμε ότι όταν οι Επισκοπιανοί των Η.Π.Α. και του Καναδά πρίν τρία χρόνια προχώρησαν αυθαίρετα στην ευλογία του γάμου ιδίου φύλου, ο εκπρόσωπος της Εκκλησίας της Κύπρου Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Κιτίου κ. Χρυσόστομος πρότεινε την αποχώρηση της Εκκλησίας της Κύπρου από την Διορθόδοξη Επιτροπή του Διεθνούς Θεολογικού Διαλόγου Αγγλικανών και Ορθοδόξων. Επανήλθε στην Διορθόδοξη Επιτροπή κατόπιν ανακοινώσεως της Μικτής Διεθνούς Επιτροπής Αγγλικανών και Ορθοδόξων του Θεολογικού Διαλόγου ότι ο Γάμος είναι όπως διδάσκει η Αγία Γραφή και η Ιερά Παράδοση της Εκκλησίας ένωση και ευλογία ανδρός και γυναικός.

Στη συνέχεια παραθέτουμε το κείμενο της συμφωνίας των Προκαθημένων της Αγγλικανικής Κοινωνίας, ως επίσης και την επιστολή του Αγγλικανού Αρχιεπισκόπου της Ουγάνδας Stanley για καλύτερη ενημέρωση.

Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together.

The full text of this particular agreement follows:

1. We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.

2. Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.

3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.

4. The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.

5. In keeping with the consistent position of previous Primates’ meetings such unilateral actions on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity is considered by many of us as a departure from the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with each other in the Anglican Communion.

6. Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.

7. It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.

8. We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ. Author:

Letter of the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda His Grace Stanley Ntagali
16th January 2016, Entebbe Airport

Thank you so much for welcoming me and receiving me here at the airport. It is a great blessing to see the support from the people of Uganda for what I have been doing in the UK.

We traveled last week for a gathering of all the Archbishops, called Primates, of the Anglican Communion. As you know, there has been a problem in the Anglican Communion since 2003 when the Episcopal Church USA consecrated as a bishop a divorced father of two children then living in a same-sex relationship. This was a violation of the Bible and our Anglican tradition.

The Church of Uganda broke communion with the Episcopal Church USA at that time, along with many other Global South Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

Unfortunately, neither the Archbishop of Canterbury nor any of the other structures of the Anglican Communion were able to discipline the Episcopal Church USA. That meant that the Anglican Communion had become like the time in the Book of Judges when God’s judgment was upon the people of God because it says, “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” Even the Anglican Church of Canada has allowed the blessing of same-sex unions in their church.

We had hoped that the meeting this past week would restore godly order to the Anglican Communion and re-establish the Bible as the authority for our faith and morals.

On the second day of the meeting, I moved a resolution to ask the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw from all Anglican Communion groups. It grieves me to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was chairing the meeting, did not take my resolution seriously and simply moved on to another matter without ever allowing any discussion on it.

At that point in the meeting, I realized that the process that had been set up would not allow us to accomplish the purpose for which we had come.

Our commitment as the Church of Uganda is that we would not participate in any meetings of the Anglican Communion until godly order has been restored. Therefore, I felt it necessary to withdraw from the meeting and stand firm for the convictions of the Church of Uganda and the people of Uganda.

My fellow GAFCON and Global South Primates stayed in the meeting and by Thursday lunchtime they had passed a resolution suspending TEC from representing the Anglican Communion in interfaith and ecumenical dialogues and not allowing them to vote in meetings where issues of doctrine and polity were being discussed. This would be for a period of three years.

This is a very important, symbolic vote. The mind of the Primates is to uphold the Bible’s understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman, and to declare that is the position of the Anglican Communion.

From our perspective, however, the vote did not go far enough to re-establish godly order in the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church USA will still attend meetings and continue to influence many others in their unbiblical positions. We need to wait and see if they demonstrate true repentance and whether or not the leadership of the Anglican Communion has the strength of convictions to uphold the decision of the Primates. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I want to assure you and all Ugandans that the Church of Uganda is still a member of the Anglican Communion. I withdrew from the meeting, but we have not withdrawn from the Anglican Communion. We are the Anglican Communion.

I also want to assure you that the Church of Uganda is committed to living under the authority of the Word of God and proclaiming the God “who so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that all you believe in him may not perish but have everlasting life.”

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali

ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.

 

****Ο Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Ζιμπάμπουε Σεραφείμ Κυκκώτης εκπροσωπεί τον Αλεξανδρινό Προκαθήμενο κ.κ. Θεόδωρο Β’ και το Ελληνορθόδοξο Πατριαρχείο Αλεξανδρείας και πάσης Αφρικής στην επίσημη Διορθόδοξη Επιτροπή του Διεθνούς Θεολογικού Διαλόγου Ορθοδόξων και Αγγλικανών που εκ μέρους των Ορθοδόξων προεδρεύει ο Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Διοκλείας κ. Κάλλιστος Γουέαρ.

 

 



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