recent British media reports on CofE

The BBC reports on the CofE response to the Draft Anglican Covenant: Church comments on Anglican rows:

The Church of England has made clear its disapproval of Anglican provinces which intervene in the affairs of other churches without authorisation.

In a document it said such interventions should not take place except as part of “properly authorised schemes of pastoral oversight”.

It is a response to attempts in the draft Anglican Covenant to commit the Communion to practices to resolve rows…

Riazat Butt’s online report on Tuesday also made it into the Guardian on Wednesday: Anglican rift on gay clergy leads to breakaway summit.

Jonathan Petre at the Daily Telegraph had his own story on Wednesday about the Bishop of Manchester and the Lambeth Conference. See Bishops ‘must face gay clergy debate’:

A Church of England bishop has criticised the Lambeth Conference, which starts in July, for shying away from the issue of homosexuality.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, said it would be “odd” and “irresponsible” for the meeting to sweep the controversy “under the carpet”.

…Bishop McCulloch criticised conservative bishops who are threatening a boycott because the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has invited American liberals…

Here’s the full text of the bishop’s remarks as provided by the diocese:

This is the year of the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference. It is always an important occasion. I was among the first bishops to respond affirmatively to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation. I am sorry that some bishops are still threatening to stay away.

The Anglican Communion is a family. The Christian pattern for family life – for which the church and especially its bishops should be a model – is that, however deep family arguments and differences are, we (of all people) ought to be following the New Testament pattern of meeting together to pray, to learn, to eat and to share.

That said, I do have sympathy with bishops who feel the agenda ought to contain more than simply the currently planned episcopal in-service training. The first Lambeth Conference was called in the wake of controversy; and it would be exceedingly odd – even irresponsible – for the bishops to avoid, and appear to sweep under the carpet, the very issues that are currently inhibiting our common witness to Christ across the world.

Incidentally, would clergy please observe the convention of checking with me before inviting any bishop/archbishop to minister? Such courtesies avoid unwelcome problems – most of which can thereby be overcome.

And earlier, there was a bizarre piece of reporting in The Times by Dominic Kennedy headlined Bishop left in dark over secret gay service. For a better report on this matter try the Evening Standard ARCHBISHOP SPARKS ROW AFTER HOLDING SECRET COMMUNION FOR GAY CLERGY. Note the comment there from the Bishop of London’s spokesperson:

“The extent to which the Bishop of London is annoyed has been exaggerated – he’s not annoyed in fact and canon law was not broken. The whole thing seems to have been blown out of proportion.”

24
Leave a Reply

avatar
24 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
Erika BakerFord ElmsCheryl Va. CloughSimon DawsonMerseymike Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

The Times’ reporting gets more and more sensationalist, sadly, at the expense of truth. You do wonder what they have to gain from this. But it is creating its own audience. The Times, too, “revealed” that the ABC believes the ox, the ass and maybe even the snow at the nativity scene to be myths. And immediately there were letters to the paper criticising his theology. One reckoned such dangerous comments should remain within the confines of theological colleges. The journalists on the paper understand the complexities of the current debate quite well. It’s sad that they don’t play a… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Presmably Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch considers that the Advent Letter and its assumption of the Mind of the Communion is incorrect, and the issue should be opened up. But it is not just in service training, is it; they are going to discuss and move forward (so far) this Covenant.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

I think the saddest part of the secret gay Eucharist is just that – that it had to be secret. There are certainly many places in the US where that would have to be the case – I’m not saying we’re prefect. But there are many where such a secret celebration would be ludicrous, and their number is growing. After all, one of our traditions is the Integrity Eucharist at General Convention, to which everyone is invited, and in which all glbt clergy are invited to vest and process. The secret Eucharist is blessing the closet, and is sad and… Read more »

Giles Goddard
Guest
Giles Goddard

Are we surprised this story resurfaces immediately after the disarray that’s “GAFCON” hits the blogs and the fan? The faintest hint perhaps of attempting to divert attention from something which is ill-planned, ill-considered and counterproductive?

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“The secret Eucharist is blessing the closet, and is sad and sick.”—Cynthia Gilliatt

AMEN, Cynthia!

Colin Coward
Guest

Cynthia, I long for an Integrity style Eucharist here in England. I have participated in the last two Eucharists at GC and they were inspiring and amazing celebrations. Sadly, CofE clergy are far more closetted than our American colleagues. The Consultation meeting and Eucharist (which I attended}, was NOT a secret service. This is the description given by malicious conservatives. The Consultation always meets in confidence to preserve the security of those members who fear for their position in the church should their bishop discover their membership. We meet under Chatham House rules. Rowan Williams agreed to come and meet… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Colin. You make a repeated point about the need for Anglican priests to remain in the closet due to the risks they face. On another recent thread you said “They remain in the closet, hidden from the wider church, because of the prejudice and hostility and abuse they would encounter if they were as open about themselves as Bishop Gene Robinson.” Yet in past decades the Armed Forces, Police, Fire Service, Prison Service, teachers, and many other professions have all successfully worked through this issue, with many working professionals choosing to come out as an effective, eventually successful action to… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

What Giles Goddard said.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The Consultation…

always meets in confidence…

to preserve the security of those members who fear for their position in the church should their bishop discover their membership…

We meet under Chatham House rules…

Rowan Williams agreed to come and meet the Consulation and address and preside at communion with us under our normal conditions of meeting…

Colin Coward

“Normal”… “Chatham House rules”… “Security”…

Not any of it ;=)

Colin Coward
Guest

Simon, I’m not sure I’m making the point that Anglican priests NEED to remain in the closet due to the risks they face. I UNDERSTAND why the majority of priests remain in the closet. They fear for their security in the church, and some may fear for their reputations, believing that if people know they are gay, they will like them less. I know that isn’t true, but until you come out fully, it can remain a strong internalised fear. Your question about what is so special about the Anglican church compared with other institutions is a good one. What… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Colin: there are plenty of us gay clergy who agree with you completely. I am “out” with everyone, and I wish the Church’s hierarchy would support people like me when we are, rather than disown us.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

oh, no —

no the snow too !

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

It seems to me that the lg and bi clergy of the c of e collude with the bishops and power-brokers, in the conspiracy of silence. There is something sick about it. But then there has been something very dishonest about things in the c of e since the beginning. The debate about Bible and theology has tended to be confined to theological colleges–and the clergy have tended not to face the implications of biblical and theological criticism too much. Notwithstanding the attempts of the John Robinsons,the Don Cupitts, the Harry Williamses, the Goulders, and the Jack Spongs of this… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

L Roberts: I think there are two reasons why many gay clergy in the C of E appear to collude by being silent. One is, that, on a pastoral level, many gay clergy do not wish to intrude their homosexuality as a potential obstacle into good working relationships with parishioners. This was, I think, more of a potential problem in the past than now: in my experience, even the most refined old ladies are unlikely to be shocked nowadays to find their priest is gay – anyone in Britain who ever watches TV or reads a newspaper is not going… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Yes, Mark, you have something there –unemployment and homelessness are big disincentives for lgbt clergy to come out

It is disgraceful.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

It is also a fact that if one does so in some dioceses, one might be prevented from ordination (I can think of one case here) or pressure placed upon one to move to another diocese, for example, if one wishes to enter a civil partnership.

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Merseymike, L Roberts etc, I agree with you that there are serious disincentives for gay clergy to come out and be honest – but that does not address my original question. There were the same serious disincentives for members of many other professions to come out (in some cases markedly stronger disincentives, such as risk of criminal prosecution) yet they managed to overcome those barriers, and change the attitude to homosexuality in those professions. In past decades members of the Armed Forces, Police, Fire Service, Prison Service, teachers, and many other professions have all successfully worked through this issue, with… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“What is so special about the Church of England” Because it’s a Church? Can I suggest that, intertwined with all the other reasons for staying closeted, like fear and self-hatred, there is a good reason as well? It is Christian humility. Now I’m not suggesting that all those closeted gay clergy in England are being good little self effacing Christians, but on a basic level, we Christians are called to put our needs and wants aside for others. Thus, if it would drive someone away from the Church if I was open about my sexuality around them, I am called… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford, I accept that you personally might not speak out about your sexuality because you fear to upset your fellow parishioners. I have come to respect you very much and I am sure that, if you say it like this, then that’s how it is for you. To me, however, it seems all wrong. I’m not sure that this is not misunderstood Christian humility. Isn’t part of what it means to follow Christ to be absolutely truthful about ourselves and our lives? At least potentially? There is a world of difference between simply not talking about some things, and actually… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Isn’t there a fine line between being discreet and being so closed that it’s almost dishonest?” Actually, it is dishonest when Christian humility is used as justification for behaviour that is actually rooted in things like fear and self loathing. That’s what I was trying to get at in the end of my post. It’s just that it seems to me that we all seem to forget that for Christians, it isn’t about us, it’s about others. You ask, for instance: “There is also the question of how healthy this is for us.” I would say the question is not… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

The Windsor Listening process was meant to be about making room for people to talk about these very things. Years later, some parishes and dioceses have not made the room to listen, and in fact are moving to deprive others the opportunity to listen and denouncing it as “ungodly” to do so. Victims of abuse, sufferers of embarasssing illnesses, ethnic or religious minorities in hostile environment, women in an aggressively misogynistic society. These are all examples of souls who are told to “shut up” until others are ready to listen. Unfortunately, in many circumstances, there is no intention to ever… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford “Actually, it is dishonest when Christian humility is used as justification for behaviour that is actually rooted in things like fear and self loathing. That’s what I was trying to get at in the end of my post. It’s just that it seems to me that we all seem to forget that for Christians, it isn’t about us, it’s about others.” I think you and I are actually very close in our thinking about this. What troubles me a little is that I believe that integrity is not something that can be achieved in one part of life without… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“But I suppose if I’m honest I doubt most people’s motivations, and am inclined to think that this supposed humility is a convenient cover for a lack of self acceptance.” With good reason! Erika, don’t get the idea that I think of myself as some great self-effacing person, I believe that’s the ideal, but it’s hardly something I reach. I doubt if anyone actually keeps quiet about their sexuality purely, if at all, out of concern for someone else. My point was that we seem always to lose the idea that it isn’t about us. I do take your point… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford “I enjoy our little forays into this area, BTW. I know there’s been times when what I’ve said has trodden on your corns” I enjoy them too, very much! And don’t think you ever “tread on my corns”. It’s important to be challenged and I never take what you say personally. I hope you don’t feel hurt by my comments either, that’s never the intention. It’s just that the things that matter deeply are, by nature, those that affect the core of our being the most. Challenging them can be done as long as we don’t forget that this… Read more »