Comments: more reports on the Algarve

My only comment is that the attempt to reform the church from within is probably going to see this kind of problem repeat itself. The people who try to build networks within the Communion will be seen as agents of the "evil one" and the church will take steps to minimise the spread of their corruption to other parishioners and dioceses. This is why I think the reforms will happen around the church, with the church coming kicking and screaming when it no longer has credibility to justify internal abuse. Where possible, I pray that alternative congregations can develop to provide tolerant pastoral care and that the theological explorations continue e.g. I read Job and Psalms (e.g. 68) last week and note that God does not like people to add to the burdens that God has already imposed, nor to gloat over another's suffering.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Friday, 28 July 2006 at 10:52am BST

"Mr Britt....had requested the episcopal oversight of the former Bishop of Recife, in Brazil, the Rt Revd Robinson Cavalcanti"

OK, that led me to one interpretation of events. But the story continued:

"Bishop Cavalcanti is said to have accepted the invitation in the first instance, but later to have withdrawn."

Huh: that's curious, I thought. Should have been right up Cavalcanti's non-geographic/boundary- nay, ocean-crossing alley? (I'm not sure a "+" before his name, is canonically appropriate anymore...)

But then we got to this:

"Mr Britt is a member of the pro-gay organisation Accepting Evangelicals."

Et voila!

This sounds like personality-conflicts of sinful humans, on ALL sides. Pity. :-(

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Friday, 28 July 2006 at 5:33pm BST

Speaking as a retired clerical 'oldhead' from the US, I would say that this whole thing is a prime example of a 'bad fit' between parish and priest.
Mr. Britt apparently had a lot of gospel in his belly and wanted to do outreach to younger folk and to extend and build. Not everyone wants that.

One of the jobs of senior clergy in supervisory positions is to tell newcomers 'Here be dragons.' Apparently this was not done. My father, when he was called to a parish, used to head immediately for the dragons and try to make friends of them or at least neutralize them. Failing that, his intelligence network would warn him of their machinations well ahead of time.

Haydn Franks who recently served the chaplaincy in Madeira is an older man full of gospel and also a sense of the beauty of worship. His sermons were exemplary and the church was invariably full of the usual mid-to-low British holiday lot. Bishop Rowell picked him. What went wrong with Britt?

Posted by Harold J. Wilson at Tuesday, 1 August 2006 at 4:31pm BST

Interesting comments. If Mr Wilson saw the chaplaincy profile of 6 years ago, he would see they wanted (the Council of which some of my opponents were on) an open evangelical who could reach out to young people, teach on tithe and reducing the dependance on fund raising......etc. They actually got what they wanted and within the year I could be tick by all their requests as having been completed or in the process of.

So far as being a member of Accepting Evangelicals since I worked for nearly three years with men and women who were HIV positive and were living with AIDS is it any surprise I was a member of AE - the patients and partners taught me so much and I had to re-think my position on issues of sexuality.

Bishop Robinson knew where I was coming from and was grateful for my honesty with him.

Please don't jump to conclusions without sufficient evidence.

Posted by Eric Britt at Friday, 4 August 2006 at 4:42pm BST
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