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ACNS: Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon responds to “misleading stories”

ACNS: Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon responds to “misleading stories”

In response to reports on a 2007 interview and a 2014 news article, the newly appointed head of the Anglican Communion office has issued a statement. The chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Rt Revd James Tengatenga, has issued a statement as well. Portions of those statements are quoted below.

From Response to misrepresentation of remarks: Statement from the Rt Rev Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon:

Statement from the Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon responding to misleading stories concerning a sermon in 2014 and an interview in 2007:

In Benin on Sunday 23rd March, 2014 at St. Mathew’s Cathedral where Knights and their wives were being admitted, I encouraged them to continue to uphold family values in their homes bringing up their children as Christians in order to make a difference in their society. I then went on to challenge the National Assembly, comparing corruption with homosexuality that they had just criminalized. I wished the National Assembly had spent all that time and energy to criminalize corruption rather than homosexuality which is not damaging the Nigerian society as is corruption.

I have never supported the law in Nigeria that criminalizes the gay community and I will never support it….


In a Dallas interview in 2007 the question was about the Bible and culture. I did say by way of explanation that the West brought the Christian Faith to us and our forefathers embraced the faith finding it corroborated our view on marriage. Today, the same West are telling us that the position has changed. To the African, that is confusing, hence the difficulty between the Western church and the African church.

From Appointment of Anglican Communion Secretary General: Statement from ACC Chair:

Statement from the Rt Revd James Tengatenga, Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, regarding the appointment of the Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon as new Secretary General of the Anglican Communion:

The Panel set up for the appointment of the new Secretary General of the Anglican Communion acted with due diligence and was unanimous in appointing the Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon.

The Communion is in need of leadership at the ACO from the majority world, a situation that is long overdue….


In responding to the appointment of Rt Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, some have drawn attention to an article in a Nigerian newspaper concerning an address he gave in Benin on Sunday 23 March 2014.

The article misrepresents and distorts his comments in the sermon in which he challenged the National Assembly on the time and energy spent in criminalizing homosexuality and not the corruption that damages Nigerian society. The views attributed in the article to Bishop Josiah do not reflect what is widely known to be his position, both within Nigeria and amongst those who know him.

The Episcopal Café ran a report on the 2007 interview and the 2014 news article earlier this week. Another 2014 news article with the phrase “The government has criminalised homosexuality which is good” has turned up.

From 2013, see also, this item from the Episcopal Café: The sad case of Dartmouth and Bishop Tengatenga.

Addendum. From The Tablet (the international Catholic news weekly), December 2004:

A Nigerian archbishop, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has said that homosexuality is on a par with adultery, fornication and armed robbery, while Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, has called it an “aberration unknown even in animal relationships”.

Addendum 2. Wide-ranging interview done in Sydney in 2006 with a conservative blogger.

Posted by John B. Chilton

Photo credit: ACNS



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June Butler

With Cynthia, thanks to all the moderators and volunteers for their hard work here at the Café.

C Bates

Isn’t the real question whether Bishop Idowu-Fearon supports, as a general matter, criminalizing homosexuality?

Has he answered that question yet?

If he hasn’t answered it, then perhaps the “misleading” shoe is on the other foot.

June Butler

Does the rule of four no longer apply?

David Allen

The rule of four does apply when we notice folks going over. The policy was changed at my suggestion recently from a total of four per day on the Lead to four per thread per day. It can get away from us at times.

Bro David

June Butler

Thank you, David.

Cynthia Katsarelis

I found that percentage thing just too wildly speculative and profoundly dishonest to be of use. 15 percent extremely liberal, 15 percent extremely conservative, and 70 in the middle… The truth is that some provinces are more liberal/conservative than others. So how are we to get along? It seems like the proposals are still designed for more central control with the capacity to punish or throw out provinces that don’t go along with the central authority, which to me looks to the right of Attila the Hun.

Isn’t equating LGBT people with adulterers, liars, and thieves pretty extreme? Putting gayness even with corruption in government that cripples Nigeria and other countries? If that isn’t in the 15 percent of extreme conservatives, then who is in that group? Avowed human rights abusers?

I have this inkling that this African patriarchy is no better for African women and children than it is for the whole Anglican Communion. On the UN Conference on the Status of Women it was noted that little progress has been made. Some African female leaders blame religion for bringing patriarchy.

christopher seitz

PS–It sounds like your view that our concern is to destroy the Instruments is precisely the opposite of what +Josiah is proposing. In fact, his concern is to preserve them, with modifications he believes will make them more effective. The Toronto conference produced a variety of papers, but not one of them majored in attacking the Instruments.

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