The Right Reverend Michael Ingham of the Diocese of New Westminster, Canada, has advertently broken communion of himself and his Diocese with the wider Anglican Communion by acting and teaching contrary to the Faith of the Church through the authorisation of a public rite for the blessing of same sex unions and the implementation of the same, effective from 28 May 2003.
We in the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia are not only deeply saddened but also affronted by the said irresponsible and arrogant action. We are of one mind that a clear firm stand and action must be taken against it as we, like all believers are called "to contend for the faith that once for all entrusted to the saints." (Jude 3)
Our Provincial Standing Committee has explicitly passed and adopted the following Resolution at its Meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 19 and 20 February 1997:
"The Standing Committee of the Province of South East Asia do hereby unanimously resolve:
The authorisation and implementation of a public blessing of same sex union has blatantly gone against the clear and unequivocal stand of the Lambeth Conference in 1998 in favour of Resolution 1.10 on human sexuality and same sex union, and that of the successive Primates' Meetings since then. In particular, the said action could not but be taken as intentionally spiteful coming immediately after the just concluded Primates Meeting in Brazil, which unanimously endorsed what the Archbishop of Canterbury said on behalf of all "that it is through liturgy that we express what we believe, and that there is no theological consensus about same sex unions. Therefore, we as a body cannot support the authorisation of such rite."
We want to reaffirm our stand and total commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Apostolic Faith. Therefore, with a heavy heart, we are duty bound to declare, with immediate effect, that we no longer be in communion with Bishop Michael Ingham and all those who are supportive of his said act and policy in the Diocese of New Westminster, Canada. In the meantime, we want to assure the faithful clergy and laity of the said Diocese of our support and fellowship who subscribe fully to the universal position of the wider Anglican Communion on human sexuality and uphold biblical truth and orthodoxy.
It is our hope and our prayers that this is only a temporary situation. We pray that Bishop Michael Ingham and his Diocese of New Westminster will retract openly from this decision of the blessing of same sex union publicly. It is our deepest desire that this situation will be remedied as soon as possible. We earnestly pray for a sincere resolution and swift restoration of communion between us.
The Most Revd Datuk Yong Ping Chung
Primate of South East Asia Bishop of Sabah
The Right Reverend Datuk Made Katib
Bishop of Kuching
The Right Reverend Dr Tan Sri Lim Cheng Ean
Bishop of West Malaysia
The Right Reverend Dr John Chew
Bishop of Singapore
Related articles and links are available from the Human Sexuality Issues section