Ecumenical News International
03 January 2007

Outgoing Hong Kong Anglican leader urges dialogue, not schism on sexuality
ENI-07-0007
 
By Francis Wong
 
Hong Kong, 3 January (ENI)--The outgoing Hong Kong Anglican leader has urged dialogue, rather than
division, to resolve divisions over homosexuality within the worldwide Anglican Communion of some
77 million people.
 
"Anglicanism is inclusive. There is high (liturgical) church, and there is a low (evangelical)
church. Anglicans can co-exist and even hold different interpretations of faith," said
the70-year-old Chinese Anglican Primate Peter Kwong Kong-Kit who retired on 1 January. "Why
shouldn't we find a common ground on homosexuality?"
 
The archbishop told Ecumenical News International on the eve ofhis retirement: "Anglicans should
sit down and talk about it. I don't agree that local Anglican churches should break-away from the
Communion because of the controversy on homosexuality."
 
The Anglican leader also disagreed with a proposed two-tier system within the Anglican Communion.
The system would divide into core-member churches that enjoy voting rights, and other member
churches with liberal view on sex ethics that do not have voting powers.
 
"Homosexuality is a long-existing social reality. People with a homosexual inclination should not
suffer from discriminations," he said. "But at the same time, we affirm that a same-sex union is
different from marriage. We oppose any movement that will undermine the marriage system, such as
making a [same-sex] union equal to marriage, allowing them to adopt children and building up a
'family'."
 
Hong Kong's Anglican Church was set up by the Church of England in 1843, two years after British
soldiers took control of the Chinese territory, and it became a colony. The church hierarchy in
Hong Kong had once served the whole of China and Japan.
 
In view of the status of the Church of England, the primate said that the communion should place a
stronger emphasis of the Church of England, and not just the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury
- the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion.
 
"We should consider the Church of England as the mother Church of the worldwide Anglican
Communion", like the Roman church that has enjoyed a special status within the Catholic Church, he
said.
 
Peter Kwong was ordained as a priest in 1966 and later became the first Chinese bishop in the
Anglican Diocese of Hong Kong and Macau. When the area was promoted in 1998 to an Anglican
Province, composed of three dioceses (the dioceses of Hong Kong Island, East Kowloon and West
Kowloon), he was elected as archbishop and primate of the Province, making him to be the first
Chinese primate in China.  

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