Wednesday, 10 September 2014

LGBTI Anglican Coalition supports Shared Conversations

Press Release

LGBTI Anglican Coalition supports Church of England’s Shared Conversations

From 15 to 17 September, the College of Bishops of the Church of England will be meeting for two days to start the process of Shared Conversations on Sexuality, Scripture and Mission.

The LGBTI Anglican Coalition welcomes this first step and our members will be praying for a successful outcome to the meeting. Although we have reservations about the context in which this is taking place – articulated very clearly in the recent letter sent from the Trustees of Changing Attitude to all those attending the meeting – nevertheless we welcome the initiative, and hope it bears fruit.

We believe that there are two specific ways in which the College can and should signal that the meeting has been successful.

* The first is to affirm in public that some of their members are themselves gay or bisexual.

* The second is to affirm that within the College there exists a diversity of opinion about the policy issues surrounding sexuality, including both the recognition of civil partnerships and the acceptability of same-sex marriage as a legal right.

These two small steps would do much to enhance the credibility of the bishops, and to encourage LGBTI clergy and laity to participate in subsequent stages of the conversations process.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 at 9:10am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation

Is the headline to this press release accurate? Reading the statement it looks as if the Coalition commends the forthcoming meeting of the bishops, though its proposals as to the necessary outcomes suggests that it is not particularly hopeful about them. But does the Coalition actually support the whole process? Many of us have serious doubts whether the proposed 'conversations' will actually have any purpose whatsoever, except perhaps to postpone the day when decisions have to be made. In addition the context in which they are being held means that participation by many of those most affected by the current situation is of could be extremely dangerous for their present and future well being. The Bishops 'pastoral guidance' seriously compromised the Pilling proposals already and the whole things is seen by many as too little and much too late.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Thursday, 11 September 2014 at 9:11am BST

That is a very good question, Richard. I think a huge amount depends on what happens in the first stage of the conversations which is the College meeting next week. The signals that are sent out from that meeting are crucial.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 11 September 2014 at 9:22am BST

"except perhaps to postpone the day when decisions have to be made."

That's hitting the nail on the head, right there.

This is a glorified version of referring the troublesome issue to a committee.

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 12 September 2014 at 12:47am BST
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