Sunday, 10 July 2011

some criticisms of episcopal statements

Savi Hensman has written about the presidential address given on Saturday by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

See Romanticising the church?

The Church is “the visible sign of a faithful God”, declared the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was speaking at the Church of England’s General Synod on 9 July 2011, in York. He expressed the view that those present were “entrusted with the strength not to abandon and the joy of knowing ourselves not abandoned.”

Rowan Williams made many valuable points in his presidential address to Synod, the Church of England’s key decision-making body. Yet his lack of acknowledgement of the Church’s mixed record raises some concerns…

Changing Attitude has published some comment about the note sent to synod members from the House of Bishops about the Equality Act and the appointment of celibate people in a civil partnership as a bishop.

See Bishops in the church and the Equality Act.

The House of Bishops sent a note to Synod members about the Equality Act and the appointment of celibate people in a civil partnership as a bishop. The legal advice is discriminatory and unworkable. No priest who is gay, let alone in a civil partnership, is going to reveal their sexual orientation when confronted by five such intrusive questions.

The legal note will simply encourage people to stay in the closet, maintaining secrecy about their sexual orientation for all gay (and eventually, lesbian) clergy who are nominated for episcopal office…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 10 July 2011 at 9:15pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod | equality legislation

Savi Hensman is, as usual, right on the mark.

The ABC is correct, of course. The faithfulness of so many church members in the face of oppression in countries like the Congo, or Kenya is indeed inspirational and humbling. He is also wrong, in failing to acknowledge the equally humbling and inspirational work of those who have stood in solidarity with oppressed GLBT folk both in 'western' countries and in the two-thirds world. He is also wrong in failing to acknowledge that the Church is responsible for a significant share of that oppression.

Oppression and injustice should be challenged wherever it occurs, even (especially?) when abetted by fine Christian souls who have shown such faithfulness in other areas of their lives.

Thank you Savi.

Posted by: Edward Prebble on Sunday, 10 July 2011 at 11:44pm BST

The trouble is, everyone knows he believes precisely that. (gay people are oppressed and the Church is amongst the worst violators)

But as Andrew Brown so fluently presents to us in his piece below (journalism at its best) recording how he accompanied Rowan on a visit to Grendon prison - while his position on gays is fatally compromised he remains an outstanding priest a bishop in a class of his own.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 9:03am BST

The official motto of the Anglican Communion is, The Truth Shall Make You Free. The fact on the ground, in England anyway, is "The Lie May Make You Bishop."

This is a shameful situation, and has nothing to do with any overarching understanding of morality. I hope that in their reexamination of the "Issues" the leaders of the Church of England will finally come to understand that morality is not based in "the flesh" and come to see that the virtues of fidelity, self-giving, love and charity are applicable to same- as well as mixed-sex couples.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 2:59pm BST

What are the "five intrusive questions"? I am unable to track them down.

Posted by: Nat on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 3:40pm BST
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