Thinking Anglicans

Pilling Report – more comment

Updated Thursday afternoon

David Pocklington of Law & Religion UK has published a most helpful summary, putting the report in context: The Pilling Report, the CofE and human sexuality.

Andrew Goddard has written for The Living Church that Divisions Deepen in Pilling.

Update

Anglican Mainstream have published these Pilling report – Dissenting Statement FAQs from the EGGS (Evangelical Group of the General Synod) Committee.

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badman
badman
6 years ago

Looks like Andrew Goddard wants to set up a “church within a church” or to leave the Church of England. “During my evidence to the group, when pressed on whether we did not therefore need to change I replied that the point may come when we have to decide whether we are primarily the Church of England or the church of Jesus Christ.” Quite rude, I think, and disrespectful of those who do not agree with him. And here’s the church within a church: “…what we urgently need are facilitated conversations that focus on the reality of our deep-rooted divisions… Read more »

Lionel Deimel
6 years ago

Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has commented on the report. Duncan says he is in “complete agreement with the Right Reverend Keith Sinclair” in his dissent from the main report. Duncan continues to argue that the Church can never change: “The Church must not waiver from its received teaching. Scripture and the catholic consensus must be treated as givens, the attitude of the signatories not withstanding.” His full statement is available at http://anglicanink.com/article/archbishop-duncan-pilling-report.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
6 years ago

“Divisions Deepen” is a lovely title. They don’t, they’ve always been deep. But they are properly acknowledged for the first time and there is no longer any pretence that there is one official church position.
That’s a good thing.

David Keen
David Keen
6 years ago

sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex

is there nothing else going on in the Church of England?

Do Anglicans think/comment about anything else?

James Byron
James Byron
6 years ago

Goddard took a long time to say it, but I agree with his conclusion. Failing a mass Damascene conversion, the church is not only divided on this, it’s speaking different languages. Since agreement is out of the question, a split, as well-managed as possible, would be in the interests of everyone.

The alternative is either for one part of the church to drive another out, or for the church to become even more Balkanized than it is already (which is saying something).

What good is this oppressive unity doing anyone?

Cynthia
Cynthia
6 years ago

“Do Anglicans think/comment about anything else?” Sometimes we comment on gender too. 😉 The point is well taken. I do wish we were putting it all where it belongs, in the category of justice and what it means if ALL people actually are created in the image of God. There is a lot to tackle in the realm of justice. Economic inequality comes rushing to mind. Ultimately, this is all related. Equality and justice for all means women, LGBT people, and exploited and impoverished people every where. The potential gift in all of this discussion is a deeper collective understanding… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
6 years ago

David,
they only think about sex when they’re not arguing about women bishops.

James Byron
James Byron
6 years ago

“Do Anglicans think/comment about anything else?”

Of course, but in other issues, discrimination isn’t enshrined as doctrine. As Cynthia says, this is a justice issue. All too often, “we shouldn’t obsess about this” has meant “we should leave an unjust status quo in place because change would be too much trouble.”

So long as the church seeks to impose oppressive teaching, Anglicans absolutely must talk about sexuality and gender. The more they do, the sooner the church can be put right.

Jeremy
Jeremy
6 years ago

“Failing a mass Damascene conversion.”

Or simply generational change among church-goers.

Agree with Badman that “establish their own form of church discipline in terms of clergy conduct and public acts of worship” is code for creating a new church.

Lorenzo
6 years ago

Do Anglicans think/comment about anything else? Should we not talk? Endless reports and synod motions have promised to talk about it for decades and the conversation (what was it called? the listening exercise?) has never happened, anywhere, except possibly one diocese. What is more, half of the church is firmly convinced that no talk need or should take place. I’m with Erika: even the recognition that we are not all of one mind is a novelty and very much to be welcomed.

Iain Baxter
Iain Baxter
6 years ago

I have long been of the opinion that most bishops are of the “Don’t mention the war” variety when it comes to difficult subjects. The Pilling Report’s “facilitated conversations” will force the elephant in the room out of the closet – so to speak! If the conservative groups decide they don’t want to take part then all the better – the conversations will be clearer in the direction they take. The outcome proposed by the Pilling Report is modest – a relaxation of rules in practice, no change in doctrine! It’s hard to argue against without seeming to be unreasonable.… Read more »

Helen
Helen
6 years ago

Do Anglicans think about anything but sex? Actually there isn’t any real discussion about sex, and I suspect that therein lies much of the problem. It doesn’t affect LGBT friends only: what about heterosexual singles? What is “permitted” for them if they’re not in a relationship leading to marriage? Only in the Song of Songs does the Bible explore the erotic- and of course the Church has always tried to turn that into metaphor. Are non married people “allowed” to kiss? To cuddle? To touch each other in intimate places? To give each other (this could frighten the horses) orgasms?… Read more »

JCF
JCF
6 years ago

Oh dear, Helen: there you go upsetting apple cart {cough – code of silence – cough}

Father Ron Smith
6 years ago

re Helen’s comment; Queen Victoria thought that any sexual relationship between women was impossible, so this would back up your theory. But then women weren’t considered to have erotic feelings were they in O.T. times? How things have changed. You’re right, too, about the Song of Songs; that the Church is keen to allegorise sexual love. That’s a problem.

cryptogram
cryptogram
6 years ago

I always find it rather puzzling that those who insist that the Bible is to be understood literally wherever possible are the very first to insist that the Song of Songs must be allegorised.

Paul Powers
Paul Powers
6 years ago

Fr. Ron, I’m not a biblical scholar, nor am I able to read Hebrew, but it seems to me that Genesis 18:12 (“Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”) indicates that the writers of the Hebrew Bible were not unfamiliar with the notion that women had erotic feelings. And, of course, the Song of Songs can be viewed as a celebration of erotic love on the part of both the man and the woman (as well as an allegory about God’s love for his people and about… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
6 years ago

Couldn’t agree more, Paul! My point was that the conservatives in the Church seem rather hung up on the inadmissability of human sexual pleasure. As though God did not invent it as a way of loving human connection.

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