Jamaica: Bishop Gregory Appointed Archbishop Of The West Indies

The Anglican Church in the Province of the West Indies (CPWI) yesterday elected the Rt Reverend Dr Howard Gregory as its 13th archbishop, primate and metropolitan, making him the third bishop of Jamaica and the first Jamaica-born diocesan bishop to serve in the post.

Gregory was selected by clergy and laity during the 40th Synod of the CPWI in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He takes over from the Most Reverend John Holder, who retired in February 2018.

The Jamaican was one of two nominees put forward by the House of Bishops, following deliberations yesterday morning. The other candidate was the Rt Reverend Phillip Wright, bishop of Belize. At the end of separate deliberations by the House of Clergy and the House of Laity, the entire body reconvened as an Elective Assembly. Gregory was elected on a simple majority. Read more via Jamaica Gleaner

West Indies: Christian leader opposes anti-gay laws; you can help

Religious homophobia supports laws in 70 countries that still criminalize same-sex conduct. This is especially true in the Commonwealth, where anti-sodomy laws initially reflected Anglican Church teachings and were imposed during the period of British colonization. However, things are changing.

In May, pro-decriminalization Anglican bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Howard Gregory, was appointed the Archbishop (Primate) of the Province of the West Indies, which is part of the 85 million+-member global Anglican Communion.

In 2017 Bishop Gregory wrote to the Jamaican Parliament during its deliberations on the country’s anti-sodomy law and called for a repeal of this 1864 statute. This draconian edict imposes up to 10 years’ imprisonment at hard labour for any form of male same-sex intimacy, even two men holding hands in the privacy of their hotel room. Worse, a 2012 update to the law added sex offender registration and a requirement to always carry a pass or face a one-year prison sentence plus a J$1million (about US$9,000) fine each time police catch you without your pass.

Sadly, Bishop Gregory’s voice of reason was drowned out by the large majority of the country’s extremist Christian leaders and their congregants who support the law. This scenario is very similar to what happens across the rest of the Commonwealth. Read more via 76 Crimes