Saturday, 30 July 2016

Opinion - 30 July 2016

Jeremy Pemberton Embodying Love and Hope – The Chaplain’s Calling

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Acclamation, assent and disruption: Further thoughts on objectors to women bishops and how the Church might respond

Giles Fraser The Guardian Father Jacques Hamel died as a priest, doing what priests do
Christopher Howse The Telegraph Sacred Mysteries: Christian martyrdom is not an act of aggression

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes Difference in Christian Thought 2: Order and Chaos

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

'Embodying Love and Hope'. What a moving, wonderful article.

The day stops, and tears well in my eyes.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 3:05pm BST

Priests in opposite-sex relationships must be in wedlock in order to carry out their ministry, whereas priests in same-sex relationships must remain out of wedlock or face disciplinary action (unless they marry in secret and not get found out).

The Prime Minister warned the Tory Party conference back in the 1990s against becoming the 'Nasty Party', and, as Home Secretary, stuck to her guns by carrying forward Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone's proposal to introduce equal marriage. This reform was the centrepiece of Theresa May's speech outside No.10 when she talked about compassionate and one-nation Conservatism. The House of Bishops, on the other hand, made opposition to this legislation its main bone of contention with, as they saw it, the 'secular state', and 'the hollowing out of marriage' in defence of Christian values. When they lost the argument in Parliament, the heavy artillery was turned inwards on LGBT clergy in the Church, ensuring that the C of E preserved its rigid stance on equal marriage and punishing offenders. The toxicity of the Tories on the issue, cited by May all those years ago, was, in one fell swoop, inherited by the C of E, hence its current predicament.

The Houses of Parliament have the highest number of openly LGBT people of any legislature anywhere in the world, drawn from all parties across the political spectrum. This is in marked contrast to the Lords Spiritual which have precisely nil LGBT representatives, due to the College/House of Bishops' discriminatory appointment policy.


'BISHOPS, Priests, and Deacons, are not commanded by God's Law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness'.

I can’t recall this article of religion being debated in relation to the ordination of women, though clearly the reference to ‘Christian men’ applies to women too. Likewise, it should not be a requirement for gay priests to choose between ministry or marriage. If in the future the Church were to adopt a policy whereby at least one of the two archbishops was female, a more balanced perspective on matters concerning gender and sexuality would prevail over its current self-defeating sectarianism.

Posted by: Andrew on Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 3:12pm BST


Thank you for your words of love and hope. I too have been a hospital chaplain for over 21 years, and now aged 82, retired with Robert my partner of 15 years.
Can I assure you Jeremy your ministry never ends. It maybe a hidden ministry, but none the less important and real. A chance to deepen that love and hope, and share with those who come across your path.
I am recovering from a total knee replacement, and valued beyond words the ministry of the hospital chaplain. Now recovering with the loving, marvellous support of Robert my partner.
Time also to read, at present enjoying deeply Fr Rohr's book,'Things Hidden.

Posted by: Fr John Harris-White on Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 5:01pm BST

Susannah, I'd like to reuse your words as they are also very appropriate.

The day stopped, and tears fell from my eyes for the martyrdom of Fr Jacques Hamel.

The demons in men are afraid of Christ, that is why they try to destroy us

Posted by: Henry Dee on Sunday, 31 July 2016 at 10:20am BST


When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.


Seems to me that the Church is rather like Humpty Dumpty and doesn't like being challenged, whether that is on the meaning of marriage or whether a woman should be made a bishop.

Posted by: Kate on Sunday, 31 July 2016 at 6:08pm BST
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