Let the Yes be Yes and the No be No: The latest in a long string of insults to the Gay and Lesbian Community.

The Lesbian Gay Christian Movement in England has put out a press release on a disturbing and profoundly disappointing disinvitation of a gay person who was to address their synod, by the Diocese of Europe, the presence of the Church of England in Europe. This sort of thing continues the flip-flop now your are in (aren’t we nice), now you are out (aren’t we proper) attitude seen not only in the Church of England but also in all the Churches at one time or another. Gay is OK provided it does not make for embarrassing circumstance. No wonder there are questions about the future of the Anglican Communion and its several churches in fellowship. It is time for our 'yes' to be 'yes' and our 'no' to be 'no.'

It is worth reproducing here in full:

Diocese somersaults over gay invitation

The Diocese in Europe (Church of England) [1] has disinvited a gay person who was to address them and instead invited the Church Officer whose job it is to facilitate the “listening process” for lesbian and gay Anglicans. (The Diocesan Synod meets 29 May - 2 June in Rome, Italy)

The Revd Anthony Braddick-Southgate, Vicar of St Anthony with St Silas, Nunhead [2], originally invited by the Diocese in Europe, had been planning his presentation for several months when he was suddenly told that his presence was no longer required.

In a bizarre twist the diocese has decided to replace him with the Revd Canon Philip Groves from the Anglican Communion Office [3] who was appointed to facilitate the very exchange his invitation has now stopped.

Speaking today (17 May 2006) the Revd Anthony Braddick-Southgate said he was amazed by the diocese’s decision: “This is very odd. I am sure Phillip Groves knows nothing of the circumstances behind this absurd volte face. He must be very disappointed to find himself used, in fact manipulated, as a way of blocking the very dialogue his job was supposed to encourage.”

The Revd Anthony Braddick-Southgate is a leading spokesperson for Anglican Matters, part of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM). Rev Richard Kirker, General Secretary of the Movement said: “This is farcical. The Church appoints an officer to enable lesbian and gay voices to be listened to within the Church only to find that he becomes the tool to avoid it.”

“The whole idea of the “listening process” was to stop talking about us as if we were some alien species and to start listening with us as brothers and sisters in Christ. The Diocese of Europe, at the behest of its Bishop, Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell, has not only been discourteous to Fr Braddick-Southgate it has betrayed and undermined the process of listening it is bound to uphold. It has also needlessly embarrassed the officer at the heart of the matter, who acted in complete good faith throughout the process. No wonder the Church is seen as a laughing stock, or worse, by so many when it treats gay people so appallingly.” said Mr Kirker.

The Revd Phil Groves’ office confirmed that they had no knowledge he had been a replacement for a gay person.

1. http://europe.anglican.org/
2. St Anthony with St Silas, Nunhead is in the Diocese of Southwark, South London http://www.parishofnunhead.org
3. Facilitator for the 'Anglican Communion Listening Process'. Appointed January 2006 http://www.aco.org

Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement [LGCM] Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London, E2 6HG, UK Office Tel & Fax 00 44 (0)20 7739 1249
Director of Communication Rev Martin Reynolds00 44 (0)1633 215841


  1. Will the Reverend Groves go or not?

  2. That looks about the listening process I would expect from our Communion and the CofE. Again, not full agents and baptized members who are capable of a full humanity and challenge to us and who can speak to us as well as be spoken to, but rather we'll listen to you as long as we're on the upper end of things and speak at you at all turns or speak for you.

    Remind me when I'm in Europe this summer, that I'll need to go elsewhere than an Anglican parish.

    Let's not forget the ugle episode in the Baltics this last year in which lgbt folks were accosted by all manner of good Christians and the Anglicans were in an uproar that an Anglican parish sought to help the lgbt folk.

    Sodomy as radical inhospitality seems to be the spirit of the Communion when it comes to lgbt Christians.


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