HONG KONG: Anglican primate criticizes GAFCON conference

July 9, 2008

The Anglican primate of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui has criticized the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), held in Jerusalem this June, for bringing "severe harm" to the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Paul Kwong said that Anglicans with different opinions on human sexuality issues should address their concerns through dialogue.

He criticized bishops from the "traditionalist camp" for refusing to dialogue, as some have announced their intentions to boycott the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference when more than 650 Anglican bishops will meet July 16-August 3 in Canterbury, England.

Kwong's comments were included in the July 6 issue of the "Echo," the weekly magazine of the Anglican Province.

While acknowledging that the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui is opposed to recent developments in the Episcopal Church for ordaining an openly gay bishop and blessing partnerships of same-gender couples, Kwong said the church rejects traditionalists' plans to set up a Primates Council without the mandate of the Communion.

He urged all Anglican provinces to respect the traditional mechanisms and organizational structures in place for dealing with existing challenges, and to solve their differences through dialogue.