Saturday, 1 October 2016

Opinion - 1 October 2016

Andrew Lightbown One Church’s mission but many opportunities
[Church Times subscribers can read the article here.]

David Keen Vicars of the Future: Finding More, Keeping More

David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s, ViaMedia.News Vocations in the Cupboard?

Chris Godfrey The Guardian I‘m the gay son of a preacher man. When I came out to Dad, he was perfect

Single Evangelical women are fighting the stereotypes, reports Madeleine Davies for Church Times The women who hang in there.

Linda Woodhead LSE Religion and the Public Sphere blog The government’s changes to faith schools sides with hardline religion

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 1 October 2016 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

"The women who hang in there" are tenacious and living out their faith authentically. However, (there's always a "however") there does seem to be stress involved and certainly, for some, a disconnect between their careers and their church. Any group which dominates, even if the dominant group sees it as 'love', is deeply compromised. Person to person there are many more nuances in such a setting. What would Jesus think?

Posted by: Pam on Saturday, 1 October 2016 at 10:11pm BST

Fr. David Ison, Dean of Saint Paul's is right in his criticism of the official stance in the Church of England on the need for a celibate lifestyle guarantee for ministerial aspirants.

This is a scandal in the Church of England that might well be replicated in other provinces of the Anglican Communion. Despite the fact of official assurances that it is OK to be gay, the Church still puts a fence around the ministerial priesthood, condemning all homosexual aspirants to live a celibate life - a status that, unlike the Roman Catholic Church,is not applied to innately heterosexual Anglicans. There is still a whiff of hypocrisy about this situation that needs to be exposed and dispelled.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 2 October 2016 at 1:16am BST

The Church's understanding of celibacy has been that it is a vocation, and therefore a gift, from God. It cannot be manufactured by individuals. You cannot legitimately compel celibacy (as opposed to chastity, which is binding upon all Christians) any more than you can compel marriage.

To say that one group of candidates for ministry MUST be celibate while another need not be is deeply offensive in itself, just as it is insulting to those of us who, irrespective of sexual orientation, have found the single state to be God's calling for us. (GOD's calling, please note.)

Posted by: Barry on Sunday, 2 October 2016 at 4:12pm BST

A wonderful affirmation of yours, Barry, that celibacy is a distinct Call from God to abstain from marriage.

On a different note; Marriage for many people - including myself - may be sustained without acts of sexual congress! I am intrinsically gay but married to a wonderful woman, whose children from her deceased first husband are a joy and comfort to us both.

I note that there are some heterosexual people who have problems with the fact that two people of the same gender can live together without overt sexual expression. This demonstrates their own need for sexual expression which, however, they tend to deny to same-sex couples. How mean and parsimonious is that?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 2 October 2016 at 11:52pm BST
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