No one would confuse the Rev. Canon Grace Kaiso, General Secreatry of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, with a supporter of LGBT Christians, yet his comments in this story about his organization’s upcoming meeting are encouraging in their way.:
“We cannot have a prosperous future when the greater part of our population is under war, disease and our population is merely surviving. We are saying as the church who believe in the fullness of life, things must be done differently. We are here to reflect together on how we can tackle some of these bottlenecks of perpetual conflict, poverty and disease,” he said.
It is not God’s will, Kaiso added, that people should live a hopeless life. “Change is possible in Africa but how can we achieve it? Our leaders use our money badly and fail to build hospitals, wells and roads. But since the church is everywhere, even where governments don’t reach, we can use that strength to mobilise people.”
Asked whether homosexuality that has split the Western church from their African counterparts was on the agenda, Kaiso said the church was finding ways of advocating for change in the mindsets of those who purport to be homosexuals.
Kaiso, however, noted that there were other pressing issues to address, saying homosexuality was not high on the agenda.
“It is no longer an issue because even when AIDs came, it first shocked us as a church but we moved quickly to offering pastoral support and created support and advisory groups. The Church never gets defeated because we believe in a living God,” he said.
One can wish Canon Kaiso didn’t think LGBT people could have their minds changed about their God-given sexuality, and dispute how quickly churches on any continent moved into offering support for people with AIDS, while still hearing the voice of someone who is looking for a way to avoid the pointless confrontations relished by so many on the Anglican right.