Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Lambeth: three more English perspectives

The Bishop of Ely, Anthony Russell has written On returning home from Lambeth.

Paul Richardson, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, has written Analysis: Will the Lambeth Conference bring peace to the Anglican world?

The Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard has written Bishop John reflects on Lambeth.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 at 4:22pm BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England | Lambeth Conference 2008

How very, very, very odd - that all three of these thinking bishops automatically and unthinkingly endorse the moratoria, and the new fangled policing and punishing in principle at least, pending further developments?

Not one seems aware, dimly or keenly as the case may be, that given the moratoria we queer folks are now asked to live diminished and silenced daily lives, morally crucified yet again on the rough folkway woods and weaponized doctrines of others prejudices and negative presuppositions about us, inside the church.

Yes - just as our authentic voices and persons were silenced inside official Lambeth?

Yet in a growing number of safe locations, all around the changing planet, thankfully, we continue to walk into new and fruitful pathways of common responsible citizenship, equipped with that equal access to citizenship opportunities and resources which we would be entitlted as straight citizens.

These bishops so gladly and with such written warm tones offer us queer folks such an odd invitation: Live down intentionally inside church life - continue not to speak until or unless you are ever officially invited by a communion which so far covers its ears every time a genuine real queer voice speaks up. And yes, that other unspoken invitation also whispers: Live up, embrace ethical and sacred ideals, but only outside church life as you walk in new ways of responsible, effective citizenship in safe places around the planet.

Guess which call we will better heed? Which call will actually help us do our minority queer folks part in helping things move forward, neighbor to neighbor, neighborhood to neighborhood? Which call will be solemnly approved by the new covenant? Which call will be dogged and dodgily policed and punished by the new pastoral forum?

Posted by: drdanfee on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 at 5:37pm BST

+Richardson writes: "In America attempts are to be made in September to depose traditionalist bishops while court battles rage over church property."

When will the shepherds of the flock stop spreading this lie? If +Duncan is deposed, it will be because he has betrayed his ordination vows, led a schism, and attempted to decamp with the silver--not because he is a "traditionalist bishop."

Just what would +Richardson advocate if a CoE bishop decided to "realign" his diocese with The Episcopal Church in the same manner? I suspect his take would be much different...

Try being honest, Bishop Richardson. It's a cardinal Christian virtue.

Posted by: Doxy on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 at 5:47pm BST

Doxy, you took the words RIGHT out of my mouth! ;-)
[There's nothing "traditionalist" about breaking a vow >:-/]


Bp. Richardson: "In the meantime it remains essential to keep the moratoria on the ordination of gay and lesbian priests and the blessing of same-sex unions in place."

This isn't spin, it's a bald-faced LIE. For his neither cold-nor-hot quality, +Russell of Ely could at least quote properly: "moratorium... [1] on the election and consent to the consecration of a candidate for the episcopate living in a same-gender relationship [2] on public rites of blessing of same-sex unions"

"Episcopate" not (partnered LGBT) priests!

"Public rites" not (ss) blessings themselves!


+Pritchard of Oxford: "My own view remains that we need to hold together in respectful and prayerful dialogue, under scripture, remembering that it took the Communion 100 years to sort out its approach to polygamy, 50 years on contraception and 40 years on the marriage of divorced people."

So past suffering justifies future suffering? Can we not LEARN from these past struggles for justice&mercy, in the lives of REAL PERSONS, not issues or "approaches"?

Cold comfort indeed, Bishop John. :-(

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 at 11:08pm BST

Peace between bishops is child's play -- the establishment cuddling itself; I missed any generous outreach to glbt folk at Lambeth.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 at 12:33am BST

Are there those in the CofE who might like to realign with the TEC?

Posted by: Peter of Westminster on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 at 3:47am BST

Gay Christians have mostly had to 'put up a front' with regard to their sexuality in those churches which hold such people in low esteem - even when they might long to share their reality in meaningful conversation with others in their church community.

This has led to 'double-think' for many gay and lesbian persons. Their love of God and neighbour, sadly, has been spoiled by their lack of self-esteem or, in the case of those who are more at home with themselves as being intrinsucally gay, a sense of the deep injustice still rampant in the Church.

The LGBT Movement and its Christian affiliates have now come out into the open to challenge and
in some places unmask the hypocrisy that has prevented gays from feeling 'at home' in the community they feel they have a right to be a part of. If Christ was disposed towards lepers and the marghinalised of society in his life-time then he would undoubtedly have taken up the cause of present-day gays in the Church.

Young people are staying away from the Church in droves, partly becaus they they cannot cope with the hypocrisy that they discern in Christians who can accept divorce as an expedient that can be accepted, while yet discriminating against the love of same-sex partners.

It has been said that "In every act of loving, there is something of God". That beats hatred, in my book. And honesty beats hypocrisy hands down.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 at 12:27pm BST

"Are there those in the CofE who might like to realign with the TEC?"

Yes. All this indeed "establishment cuddling" is to build a castle in the sky and not worth the imposed sacrifice that isn't a sacrifice.

There are real and actual culturally sensitive Churches, all of whom can reach out into other places and with other Churches, who can make projects and use theological and other statements to challenge the nonsense that comes out of parts of Africa and other areas. And they can say what they want too.

I'm saying get out and get on with what is important.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 at 3:11pm BST

I've just found the best description of the Lambeth Conference here:


It really does say it all: it just has such a ring of authenticity about it.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 at 4:38pm BST

There is a change of terminology that may pass unnoticed. What is now 'condemned' is partnered homosexuals. There is no distinction made for celibate partnerships. In the Church of England priests are allowed to receive the benefits of the Law and enter into Civil Partnerships, but are asked to re-assure their diocesan bishop about the nature of the relationship. That being asked for and supplied there should be NO barrier to preferment. Unfortunately not one single member of the General Synod has, to my knowledge, been courageous enough to ask for clarification on this point. - It would appear that the moment has passed and that the criterion has been changed. Perhaps we could also introduce the requirement of heterosexual candidates who are married that they give their bishops a reassurance that they are sexually active within the context of their marriages. It would seem to be the logical counter balance to the way that homosexual candidates are cross questions. The bishops would then be free from any charge of 'discrimination'

Posted by: Commentator on Thursday, 21 August 2008 at 7:13pm BST

Does the Bishop of Oxford recognise just how long we have been 'struggling' with the issue of homosexuality? He accords time to other debates but seems to imply that homosexuality is a new issue on the agenda. Is he unaware of the Osborne Report? Has he only a short term memory function?
More and more, I want to ask 'liberal' theologians to stop being so kind and gentle with those who hold opposing 'conservative' views. Speak out now and shame all three of these bishops who willingly sacrifice OTHERS for their own comfort and security.

Posted by: Commentator on Thursday, 21 August 2008 at 7:25pm BST

Where, exactly, is this change of terminology to be found please? I don't see it in the three articles linked from this one.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 21 August 2008 at 10:06pm BST

OK I did some checking and will now answer my own question. The document issued by the Windsor Continuation Group, see

used two phrases, first it summarised the original Windsor Report as asking for a moratorium on
"the consecration to the episcopate of those living in partnered gay relationships"
and second, it summarised its own proposal (yet to be confirmed, inasmuch as this document is not its formal report) as
"consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships".

In neither case did it make any reference to celibacy, still less to the UK civil partnership statement of the CofE bishops.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 27 August 2008 at 10:34am BST
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.