Thursday, 18 April 2013

Archbishop to meet LGBT Anglicans and Peter Tatchell

Updated again Saturday

The Archbishop of Canterbury will have two separate meetings today relating to LGBT issues:

First in the morning he will meet representatives of the LGB&T Anglican Coalition. There is information about this available here.

A meeting between the LGB&T Anglican Coalition and the Archbishop has been arranged for the 18th April. Major points which the Coalition wishes to put to the Archbishop are as follows:

How does the Archbishop intend to get a better understanding and appreciation of the frustration LGBT Christians are experiencing in the Church of England and what plans does he have to address this? How aware is the Archbishop that some parishes are inhospitable places for LGB&T people? Will he take a lead in helping to make it a safer place for them? If so, how and when does he propose to do this? How much experience does the Archbishop have of transgender people, and what are his thoughts and plans for greater transgender inclusion in the Church of England. What are the Archbishop’s views on the Church of England permitting churches to offer prayer and dedication (or prayer and thanksgiving) for couples who have had a civil partnership (or civil marriage) ceremony? What are the Archbishop’s views on liturgies of blessing for same sex couples? What protection can clergy who are in Civil Partnerships expect from diocesan bishops who are openly hostile to such couples and are perceived as deeply homophobic? What opportunities might there be for the care of LGB&T ordinands at theological colleges? The Archbishop’s views on the need for greater education on LGB&T issues within the Church of England. The Archbishop’s views on the House of Bishops reports on Civil Partnerships and Human Sexuality.

Second in the afternoon he will meet Peter Tatchell. There is a press statement about that also: Archbishop Welby to meet Peter Tatchell. This follows the open letter he sent to the archbishop which TA reported here.

Updates Friday

There are several reports of the second meeting in the media; the press release from Peter Tatchell is here: Archbishop Welby struggles to support gay equality.
Telegraph Archbishop backs law change to allow straight civil partnerships
Independent New Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, backs civil partnerships for heterosexual couples
Guardian Archbishop of Canterbury ‘supports civil partnerships for heterosexuals’
Reuters Anglican head holds talks on gay marriage with activist

Update Saturday

Peter Tatchell has written this further article: Discrimination is unchristian. The church must stop it.

…Archbishop Welby is clearly struggling to reconcile his support for loving, stable same-sex relationships with his opposition to same-sex marriage. I got the impression that he wants to support gay equality but feels bound by church tradition. He accepts that discrimination is not a Christian value but can’t bring himself to state publicly that banning gay couples from getting married is discrimination and wrong.

The Archbishop told me “gay people are not intrinsically different from straight people” but there is an “intrinsic difference in the nature of same-sex relationships” and this is a sufficient reason to deny gay couples the right to marry, even in civil ceremonies in register offices. When pressed to say why this “intrinsic difference” justified banning same-sex marriage he merely replied: “They are just different.”

I’m an optimist. I want to believe the best in people. That’s why I am hopeful that in time the Archbishop will resolve his moral dilemmas and encourage the church to move closer to gay equality. He struck me as a genuine, sincere, open-minded person, willing to listen and rethink his position. I’m ready to give him a chance. Time will tell…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 10:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation

Kudos to Peter Tatchell for demanding and getting a meeting, and kudos to the Archbishop for agreeing to meet with him, and I hope, listen to him.

Posted by: FD Blanchard on Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 1:29pm BST

This will test Justin Welby. The issue ruined his predecessor's time as Archbishop. I can't imagine that he'll do anything much except promise 'to listen' as he's already made his position clear.

I thought Welby looked a bit out of it and lost at Margaret Thatcher's funeral by the way.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 2:20pm BST

This is the crucial item: A plea for no more statements about us without us.

In addition to the out and out ignorance of that awful report, was the jarring paternalistic "we know what's best for you" tone.

I wish the LGBT Anglican Coalition good luck. I hope this is the beginning of a long and productive dialogue, a sincere dialogue.

Clearly, some of the members on that commission need to retire so that those without fossilized views can take into account new information about human sexuality, strong work on theologies of diversity, and be open to the Spirit of God's love for all of of her/his creation.

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 4:35pm BST

Prayers---prayers for conversion of ALL to the Heart of Christ!

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 7:51pm BST

Sadly, I doubt whether the group meeting or the individual will have gained much ground. The present occupant of the Chair of St Augustine has spoken in such contradictory ways about the love that exists between same-sex couples, that there is little hope of a truth and reconciliation moment. The C of E will remain in its sad and condemnatory position when is comes to homosexual men and women, especially of those who have been incorporated into Christ through the waters of baptism.

Posted by: Commentator on Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 9:33pm BST

I wish everyone well. Given the state of this issue in the CofE it may take longer to resolve than anyone's patience or even our lifetimes. Sadly the secular culture seems far more capable of loving and respecting their neighbors as they do themselves than does the church.

It might help if the occupant of the Chair of St. Augustine gets clear on whether he is some kind of Pope of the Communion or Primate of the Church of England to whom others are bound by bonds of tradition, respect and affection.

I would look out at the world and see how the Anglicans in Central Africa, the Catholics in France, the US and elsewhere treat their LGBT brothers, sisters and children and ask myself if I really want to live in that neighborhood.

For the vast majority of those under 40, the train has already left the station while the church is still on the platform arguing with the porters.

Posted by: Fr. Bill on Friday, 19 April 2013 at 12:25am BST

The Gospel at our Mass today spoke of the incident of Saul's conversion to becoming Saint Paul. I do believe in miracles; and my prayer is that the ABC will, indeed, listen to the cries of the LGBT community in the Church of England, and that the Holy Spirit will bring mutual encouragement and enlightenment to both parties. "Faith is the substance of things (yet) unseen".

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 19 April 2013 at 1:14am BST

One suspects that LGBT people are about to be used as Exhibit A in the Archbishop's portfolio of reconciliations.

One hopes that the Archbishop realizes that reconciliation and a photo op are not the same thing.

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 19 April 2013 at 1:46am BST

"I thought Welby looked a bit out of it and lost at Margaret Thatcher's funeral" (Concerned Anglican)
Well, let's give the guy a chance! He didn't, after all, have much more than a walk on part at the end to bestow a blessing. Certainly he was overshadowed by the presence and the gravitas of the great Bishop of London - who had a bigger role to play in giving both the sermon and the Commendation. But doesn't it just go to shew what an opportunity was missed following Rowan's retirement for surely Richard Chartres is the greatest Cantuar we never had!
In taking note of Bishop Richard's oration - I never thought I'd have cause to thank God for Margaret Thatcher - but her role in developing Mr. Whippy ice-cream has made me think otherwise.

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 19 April 2013 at 6:47am BST

If the C of E now finds itself suddenly supporting heterosexual equality by opening up civil partnerships to them , shouldn't someone cobble together a specious theological argument using carefully selected biblical passages which show that civil partnerships are so special that they must be restricted only to those who are gay ?!
Also is there not a danger that all the heterosexuals entering civil partnerships will seriously undermine gay civil partnerships, and indeed become a positive danger to them , by undermining the special nature of civil partnerships ?
These comments are , of course, tongue in cheek but they do perhaps show the absurdity of those who argue that gay marriage will undermine marriage and threaten existing heterosexual marriages .

Posted by: Salopian on Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 3:32am BST

Perhaps the real aim of those heterosexuals who have expressed opposition to Same-Sex Marriage may be to save Gays from the problems of serial monogamy that enable straight people the luxury of divorce - which, after all, can be 'blessed' in the church.

Surely that is better than offering a 'blessing' to monogamously and faithfully-partnered Gay people?

(tongue out of cheek)

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 11:35am BST

Yes, Salopian, I should hate to see my civil partnership underminded and devalued by the admission of opposite sex couples thereto !

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 1:31am BST

Yet *another* so-called church "leader" who is more concerned for some "church tradition" than doing what is right. Ugh!

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 5:03am BST

" I’m ready to give him a chance. Time will tell…"

And we'll just give him enough rope to hang all of us.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 8:53am BST

A piece of eurditoin unlike any other!

Posted by: Caelyn on Sunday, 28 April 2013 at 12:33pm BST
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