Statement by the Archbishop of York
the Most Rev. John Sentamu,
at the hearing of the Special Committee on Wednesday, June 14.

 

Paragraph 134 of the Windsor Report says, [paraphrasing] ‘Mindful of the hurt and offence that are resulting from recent events and yet also of the imperatives of Communion, we recomend, we invite, we urge, we advise [three steps], in order to create the space necessary to enable us to heal our Communion.’

Windsor was acting like a doctor saying that a broken friendship would need to be healed. Now the question or judgment the committee has got to come to is, [regarding] Resolution A160 and A161; Will it actually be sufficient to cure this impaired friendship? Personally, I think I am doubtful. Why? Because Anglicans must always respond to their challenges by relying on Scripture, tradition, and reason. Do these resolutions actually meet that particular norm? Fractured friendship, once stopped within the Communion, will actually … the church here as well. I find it scandalous that some other bishops are flying in. So you’ve got to be very careful: Are your resolutions lending support to that particular difficulty? And if they can’t, what should you do? Well, Michael Ramsey in his book The Gospel and the Catholic Church, says, “The center of Anglicanism, her primary vocation, is to witness he perpetual passion of Christ’s body, which must lead according to God’s providence into the heart of the gospel. And in reality it leads us to the very suffering of Christ himself.”

Maybe the committee should ask, ‘Do these resolutions show us a Christ who is bearing the marks of crucifixion? Do these resolutions help us ourselves to show the marks of our own crucifixion because we are part of the body? Do these resolutions help us to be one of those whose tears will be wiped away when Christ returns?’ And that’s really the question you’ve got to face. Because if you will remember when the Greeks said, ‘We want to see Jesus,’ what did he [Paul] say? [garbled] … he talks about His death, His resurrection. And ultimately it was when Pilate faces them and says, “Behold the man.”

So, friends, we are following a crucified Savior, and you have got to ask, – [because] in terms of Anglicanism, truth and unity are not separable, they are one and the same reality – do these resolutions help that particular reality? And if they don’t, then I suggest you’ve got to strengthen them. And may God give you some great wisdom, because we all need it. And the question of gay and lesbian is a global question, and you have to resolve it someday. But Windsor wanted space to be created, and I’m not so sure whether yours will create the space for the Communion to think together.