Thursday, 18 August 2011

Letter to Rowan Williams from Metropolitan Community Church leaders

Back in June, we noted that a Church Times leader had said this about that Legal Opinion, which was first reported much earlier in May.

In May, our view was a negative one, since the document listed several reasons why the appointment of a gay bishop could be blocked. This week’s positive spin has not changed our opinion. As the leaders of the “gay-led” Metropolitan Commun­ity Church in Manchester wrote to Dr Williams this week, “We note that [unlike a gay candidate] heterosexual candidates for bishop­rics are not asked to repent of any sexual activity with which the Crown Appointments Commission may be uncom­fortable.” More than one serving bishop has said that he would have con­sidered it an impertinence had he been asked about his sexual history.

The legal advice has no more weight now than before it was circulated to Synod members. It was not approved by the Bishops when they discussed it in May, not least because, to many, the brief was not how to remove discrimination within the Church, but how to continue it untroubled by the law.

The full text of the letter to Rowan Williams from MCC leaders mentioned above (and which was published here) is copied in full below the fold.

Dear Archbishop Rowan,

As leaders of the lgbt-led Metropolitan Community Church in the United Kingdom we wish to publically voice our dismay at the legal advice which has been given to the Church of England regarding the possibility of openly gay men being consecrated as bishops.

We understand that the legal advice suggests that there should be no bar, per se, to gay men serving as bishops provided that they repent of any same sex activity before they entered the priesthood, have lived by the requirement to be celibate since ordination and promise to continue to be celibate.

We feel that the spectacle of the Church of England trying to avoid complying with the law is unedifying and betrays a deep unease about the wonderful diversity of human sexuality. We note that heterosexual candidates for bishoprics are not asked to repent of any sexual activity with which the Crown Appointments Commission may be uncomfortable. We also note that Jeffrey John, an outstanding priest and leader of the Church of England, has publically stated he remains celibate out of fidelity to your church’s teaching yet he was still blocked from preferment. Even when we keep your rules, we’re still discriminated against.

We also think the policy of requiring celibacy will simply make the Church of England look even more ridiculous and open yourselves up to the most dreadful kind of casuistry as people wonder what, exactly celibacy requires. Could, for example, a gay bishop kiss his partner? Does the bishop and his partner have to sleep in separate rooms in the episcopal palace, or would twin beds in the same room suffice? If twin beds are acceptable what would be a “celibate” distance between the beds – 5 feet, 10 feet, or opposite ends of the room? Do any lapses in this celibacy rule have to be reported and, if so, to whom? The Archbishop of the Province? Her Majesty The Queen? The Prime Minister? The Diocesan Synod or just the local press?

The failure of the Church of England to embrace the reality of the diversity of human sexuality repels people from the wider Church as we are all deemed to be intolerant.

We are an lgbt-led church, yet we talk far more about mission than we do about sexuality. We commend this approach to you. In an age where many people are “spiritual but not religious”, where society is increasingly open to lesbian and gay people and where there is great hunger for authentic spirituality it is sad to see the energy and resources of the Church of England be used to avoid the provisions of the Equalities Act.

Yours Sincerely,

The Reverends Andy Braunston, Kieren Bourne, Jane Clarke, Catherine Dearlove, Chris Dowd, Debbie Gaston, Sharon Ferguson, Dwayne Morgan, Maxwell Reay, and Ruth Scott.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 12:48pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation

Thanks for posting this. The MCC does know how to confront the idiocy of discrimination. The ABC just doesn't get it. What a shame for someone who is so lettered.

Posted by: Muthah+ on Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 2:16pm BST

Oh, those silly/goofy/overheated, trouble making, progressives! On and on they go, have they no shame! (tiny snear forming at corner of my mouth)

If it weren´t for the fact that ¨certain¨ wickedones are simply trying to embarass dear Dr. Williams (and interfer with his *harmless* Anglican punitive covenant) this whole ¨Gay¨ bishop issue/letter wouldn´t even be fit for print...but, alas, gay scandals make headlines these days/daze.

Just imagine, these largely degenerate, now and forever, Gay people think they are entitled to be treated exactly like heterosexuals at ALL levels of Churchlife at the Church of England and throughout the Anglican Communion! You know, like AUTHENTIC ¨normal¨ Christians like you and me...right before God and everyone else!

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury certainly knows very well how to deal with such ¨equality¨ pretentions by seperating, humiliating, denegrating those of would threaten normal priestly folks at last Lambeth Conference. ISOLATE! He is exactly right as we have been taught down through the ages that necessary and well-deserved shame/horror and marginalization ought be inflicted on ¨sexually oriented irregulars¨ at Church.

Just like ++Rowan, his well-admired/rewarded Bishop Cameron and other loyal comrade The Lord and York and of course, the very determined Drexel Gomez (of lgbt bloodrenched Jamaica) do/does, in fact, know, clearly, what´s what and what´s not what in Gods world of selfseekers threatening the purity of REAL Anglicans!

Excluding gaymen, and they are all men so far, from OPENLY becoming part of the innermost cluster of sacred Church of England bishops is right and just (or just and right)!

Protecting unified heterosexual Church goers from homosexual bishops is simply taking proper measurers to protect spiritually healthier Anglicans in England, in Uganda, in Nigeria, in Kenya, in Argentina, in Chile, in South Africa and the Middle East. Never, never, forget the great threat to the straight/pure mankind/womankind in San Joaquin, Peoria, Ft. Worth and Pittsburgh either! Who would forget the homosexual sex plague enveloping the Anglican Church of Canada where often marriage like ceremonies are requested and officiated OPENLY by ¨Gay¨ Priests?

It´s not too late to nip this gay ¨equality¨ foolishness in the budd at the Church of England.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 3:33pm BST

Good for the MCC, reminding us that the C of E leadership is currently more interested in maintaining Pharisaism than the way of Jesus.

There are some real Christians about elsewhere, thank goodness; more power to the elbow of the MCC!

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 5:30pm BST

"Does the bishop and his partner have to sleep in separate rooms in the episcopal palace, or would twin beds in the same room suffice? If twin beds are acceptable what would be a “celibate” distance between the beds – 5 feet, 10 feet, or opposite ends of the room? Do any lapses in this celibacy rule have to be reported and, if so, to whom? ... Her Majesty The Queen?"

WIN. Rowan Cantuar, are you *embarrassed* now??? [And if not, why not?]

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 19 August 2011 at 1:44am BST

It is encouraging to know that the heads of a denomination actually talk gay sense.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 19 August 2011 at 12:02pm BST

I speak as a young lay anglican who does think that the recapitulative work of Christ in creation will eventually mean no distinction between male and female, gay or straight but all shall be one in Christ. Thus, the Church needs to respond to God's initiative and reflect his love for humanity. Unfortunately, the above letter, and indeed many of the arguments from those who believe homosexuality to be a sin in itself, lacks a sense of charity and prayerfulness which the church needs in order to exist as communion.

Posted by: TWR on Friday, 16 September 2011 at 6:31pm BST
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