Gay Row – Nigerian Church Disowns Cleric
The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion has disowned The Most Rev’d Josiah Idowu-Fearon, newly appointed Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, over differences of opinion over the appropriate response to homosexuality. According to the Church, The Most Rev’d Idowu-Fearon “represents himself at the ACC, and not the Church of Nigeria.” and his acceptance of the post does not bear the approval of the Church of Nigeria.
In a press release earlier published on April 30, 2015 on its website, and published in the Guardian of Sunday June 28, 2015, the Church said the Most Reverend Idowu-Fearon is not in “not in accord with the theological and doctrinal posture of the Church of Nigeria” on the gay issue.
This position was in reaction to an earlier statement credited to Bishop Idowu-Fearon were he was quoted to have said: “I have never supported the law in Nigeria that criminalizes the gay community and I will never support it”. Amplifying on Bishop Idowu-Fearon’s position, Wikipaedia notes that he is “A moderate theological conservative”, and “he subscribes to the traditional Anglican stance on homosexuality, but he opposes his criminalization”.
The Church of Nigeria, as a member of GAFCON/FCA (Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans), whose rallying call is “We believe the Anglican Communion should and will be reformed around the biblical gospel and mandate to go into all the world and present Christ to the nations“, does not subscribe to the “traditional Anglican stance on homosexuality”.
Reacting to the statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, says it is an individual appointment which followed due process. He expressed delight that Idowu-Fearon, an “eminent scholar with an international track record of reconciling people, especially of different faiths [is] from the largest and one of the most vigorous Provinces of the Communion” He also affirmed that “Archbishop Fearon’s view on the criminalisation of people of same gender attraction is fully in line with Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference”
We join the Church of Nigeria in wishing him “every blessing” in his new assignment.