Monday, 20 July 2009

The Episcopal Church's new resolutions

press release from Inclusive Church

The Episcopal Church’s new resolutions

Inclusive Church welcomes the clarity of the new resolutions passed at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the USA (TEC). They accurately and honestly describe the current situation, affirming that homosexual orientation should not be a bar to ordination as priest or bishop, and recognising that same sex blessings are being performed in some parishes and dioceses.

It is our wish that such honesty prevail in all current dialogues within the Anglican Communion - for example, recognising that within the Church of England there are a great many gay and lesbian clergy, single or in committed relationships, and many churches offer blessings or thanksgivings for same-sex relationships.

We equally acknowledge the costly lengths to which TEC has gone over many years to encourage the unity of the Anglican Communion, and note that the moratoria previously agreed regarding human sexuality have not been overturned.

We urge members of the Communion to consider carefully what has actually been agreed at Anaheim. The Presiding Bishop has stated in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other Primates ‘This General Convention has not repealed Resolution B033. It remains to be seen how Resolution B033 will be understood and interpreted in light of Resolution D025. Some within our Church may understand Resolution D025 to give Standing Committees (made up of elected clergy and laity) and Bishops with jurisdiction more latitude in consenting to Episcopal elections. Others, in light of Resolution B033, will not.’

Inclusive Church believes that excluding LGBT people from the sacramental life of the church is a sin similar to the historical discrimination against people of colour and women. We value Anglican diversity, and acknowledge that there is a breadth of views on questions of human sexuality. We salute the considerable efforts made to recognise and contain that breadth with TEC, and regret the attempts by others who have withdrawn to undermine the territorial integrity of local Anglican churches.

Above all we pray that the slow and often tortuous process in which the Communion is engaged over these issues will, in the end, enable all the member churches to speak more prophetically and more clearly of God’s inexhaustible love and justice for the whole world.

For further information visit www.inclusivechurch.net

Giles Goddard
Chair, Inclusive Church
07762 373 674
gileswgoddard@gmail.com

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 20 July 2009 at 9:11pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA | InclusiveChurch
Comments

The Moratorium is overturned - we return to our non-discrimination canons. Whether or not bishops and standing committees give consent to a partnered gay or lesbian elected bishop is to be determined.

Posted by: Ann on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 at 2:31am BST

"... the Moratorium i d e a..."

The idea that there was one in the first place.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 at 10:51am BST

"Inclusive Church believes that excluding LGBT people from the sacramental life of the church is a sin similar to the historical discrimination against people of colour and women."

"We value Anglican diversity, and acknowledge that there is a breadth of views on questions of human sexuality."

Interesting... it means that IC thinks people are committing sin against LGBT people... and yet values them!

How's that for joined up thinking!

Posted by: Mike on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 at 3:14pm BST

Return to our non-discrimination canons? We never repealed them. The non-discrimination canons guarantee access to process. They do not guarantee consents to ordinations.

Posted by: ruidh on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 at 3:43pm BST

'a breadth of views on human sexuality':

The 'views' are irrelevant: (1) only the supporting arguments which generate the views in the first place are relevant; (2) only after research is one able to hold a 'view' worth thge name at all, yet views are being hawked around ten a penny whereas citation of supporting arguments is at a premium.

One also gets this misunderstanding in, for example, the abortion debate. The fact that different views exist is in itself irrelevant. It could easily be (dare I say: probably is) partly down to the fact that different preferred scenarii exist (as one would expect) and/or the fact that different unsupported ideological biases exist (which it is the job of debate to expose, not rubber-stamp).

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 at 4:05pm BST

Can someone please translate Christopher Shell into English for me? }-p

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 at 2:18am BST

"Interesting... it means that IC thinks people are committing sin against LGBT people... and yet values them!

How's that for joined up thinking!"

It's also pretty Christian. You don't devalue someone for being a sinner. We'd all be devalued if that were the case. What's so bad about loving your enemies and blessing those who hate you? Other than the fact that it is incredibly hard to do.

And, JCF, basically, as I get it, it's "opinions and views are irrelevant unless they are based on objective evidence." I agree. What I always take issue with is his inability to perceive what actually constitutes "objective evidence", but that's whole other thing.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 at 9:30pm BST

Rather like the Bible itself, we are our own best interpreters:

If I say I have a 'view' on something, that view could be three things:
(a) a 'view' supported by arguments: the sort of arguments that compare different views and show, preferably quantitatively, why the chosen one is preferable;
(b) a 'view' not supported by arguments;
(c) a wish, or a preferred outcome. (c) is a subset of (b). (c) is liable to be a selfish option.

No-one, of course, can say that (b) or (c) is of remotely the same value as (a). Yet this is what Giles Goddard's statement means at face-value. The fact that one holds a view, or even merely claims to hold a view, is sufficient. No questions asked about whether one can support one's view rationally.

On this basis, 'views' which can be supported rationally are not privileged over those which can't.

The root is pluralism, which is of course a self-refuting philosophy (since one could not possibly hold to it without admitting that on one's own premises it was no better or worse than any other philosophy) and an untrue one (since it assumes in the first instance that all philosophies from Kant's to an infant's must be regarded as equally worthy of respect), and a million miles from being a Christian one.

Do people not realise that so-called 'views' are very often going to be nothing but wishes?

Compare two voters. The one who votes for the best overall outcome will be more admirable than the one who votes in accord with their selfish desires. The one who can give reasons for their vote will be better than the one who can't.

Anyone who highlights the mere existence of 'views' and lowlights the supporting arguments (or lack of them) that should engender those views in the first place those views is making the above error.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Friday, 24 July 2009 at 1:32pm BST

Christopher, you left out

d) a "view" supported by false arguments. This is of the same nature as b) and c), since it is nothing more than personal belief. Such "views" as well are nothing but wishes.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 24 July 2009 at 8:00pm BST

Hi Ford-
Good point. But how is it relevant? It's quite obvious that d also being wrong does not make b and c any more right.

The central point that we should stick by a and a only remains the same.

False arguments will not always be wishes: that's an illogical stance. There are other possibilities that you have neglected. Some of them may be believed in good faith / misremembered / based on a normally reliabkle source.

And in any case arguments do not by any means divide neatly into 'good' and 'bad' but are on a sliding scale between these two poles. The citation of some supporting arguments rather than none is at least a start. Debate can then take place only between those participants who are willing/able to cite supporting arguments. Sifting of the said arguments is the necessary Stage Two.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Saturday, 25 July 2009 at 9:15am BST

"False arguments will not always be wishes: that's an illogical stance. There are other possibilities that you have neglected. Some of them may be believed in good faith / misremembered / based on a normally reliabkle source."

False arguments are relevant because they are a direct reference to you. Your arguments do not come from an otherwise reliable source, so they are either believed in good faith or nothing more than wishes, or come from outright malice. I have always believed the former, actually, and never thought you malicious in your false statements about gay people. You have been absolutely unwilling to acknowledge the faslehood of your arguments, but I have never thought that malicious either. That's just the power of fear.

"arguments do not by any means divide neatly into 'good' and 'bad' but are on a sliding scale between these two poles"

Absolutely. But those based on falsehoods, propaganda, and misrepresentation surely cluster near the "bad" end of the spectrum.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 27 July 2009 at 3:57pm BST

'False arguments are a direct reference to me'. I am bemused you think I have a monopoly on false arguments!!

Seriously, it's quite clear that as between people who take trouble to familiarise themselves with research data and people who do not (or do so only at the goading of the first set of people) it is clear that the former set are taking not only (a) the more educated path bat also (b) the more honest one, since if the data start pointing a different way, their opinion will have to change, so that entrenched opinions are out of the question.

No-one, surely, could possibly hold that people who never refer to research data were either more educated/informed or more honest (or both?? - saints preserve us) than those that do.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Tuesday, 28 July 2009 at 1:39pm BST
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