Thinking Anglicans

civil partnerships: recent CT reports

In today’s Church Times Bill Bowder reports on what the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich said in Bishop: gays ‘amongst the best’ clerics.

Earlier in the month, Rachel Harden had two articles: Priests prepare to register their civil partnerships and also Both sides agree: this is not marriage.

And a further report was entitled Don’t try to bend gay rules, says Dr Wright.

This week’s column by Giles Fraser is headlined Protect me from prying bishops.

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Dave
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Dave

Looks like no-one’s changed their mind then! 😉

I’d love to know whether those arguing for the supremacy of “privacy” would only apply this arguement to homosexual sex within CPs.. What about a clergyperson having a series of lovers, or an “open” marriage ? Would “privacy” give her/him the right to refuse to truthfully answer a Bishop’s questions about their relationships ?

Come on! Christianity is not just a club for people who like each other. It has beliefs, practices, ethics and morals…

Get over it everybody!

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Yes, Dave. We know that Christianity is not ‘just a club’.

Its just that some of us don’t agree with your beliefs, practices, ethics and morals….and I think many Bishops don’t either and have no intention of interrogating their clergy.

Mind you, they only have themselves to blame given the sheer daftness of the compromise statement.

Alan
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Alan

It’s about equality of treatment and consistency. A Bishop would not be enquiring into what went on in the bedroom of a married clergy person. Why should he with a civil partnership? If a cleric is having an affair/s, in an open relationship, then the bishop has grounds to enquire further irrespective of whether the cleric is gay or straight. It is about respect.

Dave
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Dave

Dear Alan, The Apostles, Church traditions, the CofE and the Anglican Communion teach that it is about sin ! It is not just about equality. After all, homosexuality and heterosexuality are not “either/ors”. It is quite common for people to experience both desires; and for them to change over time. There are also other sexual attractions that some people find to be their “orientation”; and sex cannot be separated from the physiological, generational and socio-human context. Male-female unions have given rise to all of us! They form families containing both major parts of the human race, they can produce children,… Read more »

Alan
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Alan

Dave – Thanks for your reply. I was addressing the implication in your original mailing – that to accept civil partnerships for clergy opens the door for multiple relationships and infidelities. The point I was making is that clearly it doesn’t, and that Bishops would be free to enquire further if this was happening. With reference to your last mailing, the question is different. It is about how one approaches the issue of homosexuality. One can take (like you) the view that it is not God given and so there is no either/or. Others of us take a different view… Read more »

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

The supremacy of privacy? Don’t ask, don’t tell? I search in vain for these values in the New Testament (Mk 4.22).

They are certainly values held in certain kinds of society, and people who are brought up in that kind of society will therefore see them as normal – just as people who are not will not. But what has this to do with whether they are centrally Christian values or not?

They are also values very convenient to anyone doing things they would not wish to be made public. Is that a coincidence?

Dave
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Dave

Dear Alan, I was not discussing CPs themselves, but the use in the article of “privacy” as a justification for not inquiring into the behaviour of priests (or laity) within CPs. As you say, in the final analysis what you believe about God and the Church is one of the basic reasons for the current controversy. I was interested to find that these arguements having been going on for a long time. A friend leant me a book by C H Mackintosh which starts thus: “Some, we are aware, would fain persuade us that things are so totally changed since… Read more »