Comments: Hereford diocese responds on tribunal judgment

Blimey. Not an ounce of regret or contrition from the Bishop, then.

Posted by badman at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 12:03pm BST

A lot of special pleading and misinformation ---they do not even know which Laws are relevant !

Issues is NOT a 'teaching document' it is an old discussion document. Opinion is divided in the CofE., with a lot of people in favour of living and letting live. The anti-gay minority are very vocal in protest, and completely uninterested in the views or feelings of other people. They are not interested in lesbian and gay people or our families and friends. Mudch of the general public is appalled by their vicious homophobia.

How Antony Priddis can claim that he welcomes gay people in the life of the Church is beyond me. Lesbian and Gay people do meet the high standard of marriage; and some express it publically in stste registery Offices. Afterall the evangleicals said civil partnerships are 'marriage in all but name'.

So no need to worry

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 12:28pm BST

L Roberts says "Opinion is divided in the CofE., with a lot of people in favour of living and letting live."

L Roberts - you seem to be in a state of denial about the CofE......yes, there are a few people who agree with you but it is a small minority in the CofE and an even smaller minority in the AC.

People on TA do not like it when I talk about the strong nos in Reform, Alpha and Fulcrum churches.....but you are making up your numbers, pretending that a majority are quite happy with your views when they are clearly not.

If you do not believe me, remember Lambeth 1.10 was passed by a huge majority, see how the liberal ABC had to deselect J John because of opposition in the CofE, and see the recent Synod's vote for the covenant......facts can be hard to take but it is a fact that your views are definitely in a minority - even in the CofE

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 12:49pm BST

Laurie, the bishop made all sorts of strange claims for "authority" in his evidence.

Perhaps Simon might find a way of putting it up somewhere - it is breathtaking!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 12:55pm BST

Yes, Martin, it would be lovely if it could be put up somewhere.

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 1:02pm BST

This sums up only too well why the Church is no place for gay people. I shall never return. Not a word of admitting they were wrong - just more homophobia.

No wonder church attendance continues to fall. If this is 'Christianity', then its time it was laid to rest.

Posted by Merseymike at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 1:05pm BST

NP feel free !

How could I possibly object to your hobbies ?

I am not really too bothered about numbers you know---they can't decide truth. I've lived in the bad old days when the Law saw us gay boys and men as criminals, and though it said we were 'a piteous minority', we also had the power to bring down civilisation as we knew it ! I survived through my childhood and teens, being, as far as I knew , more or less in a minority of one. You can imagine that after being in that tiny minority, and a criminal before the Law, while still in short trousers, that I find things a lot better these days. I certainly won't surrender my soul to bishops, synods, august Committees and the like. You see I know a lot about human folly and its relation to pretended 'authority'.

Here I stand I can do no other.

That marvellous pld play TheWimslow Boy comes to mind. How he stood for the truth, in a minority of one.

And the motto of his barrister :

'Let right be done.'

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 1:14pm BST

"but you are making up your numbers, pretending that a majority are quite happy with your views"

http://www.inclusivechurch.net/news.html?id=30

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 1:17pm BST

I see NP is off topic again.

The Tribunal accepted that the religious exemption applied to the post in question, but they found that the interviewee had been directly and indirectly discriminated against on the grounds of his sexual orientation in a way which was not within the religious exemption and which broke the law. We must wait to see the decision, but no doubt this was because the interviewee was, in fact, celibate at the time, and offered to remain so until further notice.

The teaching of the Church of England, if there is such a thing, is very clear: absolutely no objection can be taken to the lifestyle of a celibate gay man, and discrimination against homosexuals is immoral and wrong (the Archbishop of Canterbury has emphasised this point repeatedly in recent years). The Bishop is free to hold bigoted views about homosexuality, but he is not free to break the law of the land or to discriminate against a job applicant because of his sexuality.

I don't think the Bishop should resign, unless he isn't sorry and doesn't recognise that what he did was wrong, and doesn't respect the judgment of the law against him. His press release suggests that he has a little more reading and reflection to do.

Posted by badman at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 1:35pm BST

badman
I strongly agree that we should await the text of the judgement and not accept the diocesan press release's paraphrasing as a perfect summary.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 1:53pm BST

I agree L Roberts - 'Let right be done.' The questin is, of course, what is right?

Martin Reynolds - hmmmm...you think that survey is strong evidence? If you do, I wonder how we have come to see Dromantine, The Windsor Report, The Tanzania Communique and now even the CofE accepting the idea of a covenant aimed at strengthening discipline in the church.....obviously focussed at the moment at TEC. Does not look like what you want is really that widely acceptable....unless you want to claim the Primates and the synods are wildly out of touch with reality....but nos in liberal churches in the CofE would not support that, would it?

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 2:02pm BST

"The teaching of the Church of England, if there is such a thing, is very clear: absolutely no objection can be taken to the lifestyle of a celibate gay man, and discrimination against homosexuals is immoral and wrong (the Archbishop of Canterbury has emphasised this point repeatedly in recent years)."

Does Dean (not Bishop) Jeffrey John have a comment on this?

Posted by Prior Aelred at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 2:36pm BST

Why do folks continue to debate with trolls?

Posted by Kurt at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 3:02pm BST

badman

Issues acknolwegdes and accepts loving, sexual relationships between all church members except ministers.

While it was a highly flawed document there was that one gain. Let's hang on to it. I know it's being ignored in the hope that we will forget it said that. BUT I shan't.

As the bishops and *Pensions dept have accepted the civil partnerships of ministers too, it looks like we are home and dried. All the bishops have to do is start living up to these commitments. Or are they too intellectually promiscuous ?

OR have they been misleading us, the way in ecumenical deliberations, the CofE says one thing to the Methodists and another to the RC denomination ?


I think we shoul know !


*Most importantly

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 3:15pm BST

badman

Issues acknowledges and accepts loving, sexual relationships between all church members except ministers.

While it was a highly flawed document there was that one gain. Let's hang on to it. I know it's being ignored in the hope that we will forget it said that. BUT I shan't.

As the bishops and *Pensions dept have accepted the civil partnerships of ministers too, it looks like we are home and dried. All the bishops have to do is start living up to these commitments. Or are they too intellectually promiscuous ?

OR have they been misleading us, the way in ecumenical deliberations, the CofE says one thing to the Methodists and another to the RC denomination ?

I think we should know !

*Most importantly

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 3:18pm BST

Because it seems - as the Diocese admits in its press release - that in fact, very few posts indeed other than clergy will be covered looking at the judgment, and even so, they will have to be VERY careful indeed about asking any questions.
Have a look at the solicitors statement. If this was anything other than a disater for the diocese, they wouldn't be talking about appealing. They are livid!

Posted by Merseymike at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 3:25pm BST

What is truly worrying about the Diocesan reaction is that there continues to be "split-thinking" here. Basically if a person's gender/sexuality/relationships are not formally bought to Bishop's attention then life continues as usual - but if the Bishop is confronted with it then he has to act.

The logic would be for all clergy and lay licensed staff to have to submit to the kind of investigations which John Reaney was required to undergo - there would be so many clergy and staff that would respond positively that there would be an outcry if all their post were withdrawn.

In the meantime Bishops (and + Anthony isn't the only one) turn a blind eye to those in post.

The great irony is of course that youth leaders and young people who John would have worked with in Hereford Diocese would have been the last people to raise objection to his relationship - the younger generation's attitudes are changing thank God - making the situation not only illegal but quaintly odd.

Posted by Tom at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 3:51pm BST

Unless I misremember, didn't the applicant say that he wasn't in a gay relationship, and wouldn't enter one while he held his position? If that is the case, how is the bishop's action consistent with Church teaching? The applicant agrees to obey the rules and still doesn't get the job because he MIGHT break the rules?

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 4:08pm BST

Ford asks, "If that is the case, how is the bishop's action consistent with Church teaching?"

It isn't (I love easy questions ;)

Listen carefully, everyone - the Bishop. is. a. bigot. Right then, that clears everything up.

Posted by David H. at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 4:40pm BST

The bishop said he did not believe him, Ford.

The case for the bishop revolved around this point.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 4:42pm BST

Ford Elms, your're right, the bishop's action was not consistent with church teaching. That is why he lost. That is why the defeat is worse than if he had lost the technical point about whether the religious exemption applied to this post.

The statement of the Archbishop's Council today accepts that point - it does not claim that the bishop's action was consistent with church teaching, and it emphasises the facts which you have mentioned.

It is only the Bishop who still says that he made the right decision. If he sticks to that line, I think he ought to go.

Posted by badman at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 5:08pm BST

Why do folks continue to debate with trolls?

Kurt I am sure you would not deny me such simple pleasures.

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 5:17pm BST

LOL - Fr Prior!
Jeffrey, bless him, remains speechless!!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 5:21pm BST

NP we seem to have done a role reversal ! You all liberal and questioning what is right --brava !

And I all fundament-alist and grounded in what I KNOW to be the truth.

You, wonderfully open and questioning. Me, all closed in my simple certainty .

So glad you like the play too. I am thinking of re-doing it in the setting of an anglican seminary, and rather than a lost postal order, it could be lost virginity or something like that perhaps.

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 5:21pm BST

"...the strong nos in Reform, Alpha and Fulcrum churches..."

Strong no's. What an appropriate phrase. How sad for them (however many they happen to be, which is quite irrelevant) that they are being required to operate by the same standards of public MORALITY (yes, MORALITY) as everyone else.

Posted by Brian MacIntyre at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 6:06pm BST

Believing that you are right is not the same thing as being right. Remember Tony Blair, the weapons of mass destruction and the Iraq war? The Bishop has been found to be wrong in law and clearly the Archbishops Council doesn't disagree. So either the bishop holds his hands up and admits he was wrong or he should resign, because he has broken the law and won't accept the law of the land. I hope the tribunal awards exemplary damages against the diocese and the bishop himself.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 8:43pm BST

"However, in the light of the tribunal decision the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance will now again look at its recruitment literature..."

Is this the only lesson the Board can learn? A review of its literature?

I must admit to being a bit baffled by the conflicting statements issued by the various parties. They don't add up. It's like an elaborate game of Cluedo.

All will be made clear tomorrow I trust.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 10:19pm BST

L Roberts - I am glad that you see I am not against asking questions....I just want convincing answers.

For all the gloating I see on TA against +Hereford, I think some people are missing the significance of the Archbishop's Council's statement.....i.e. CofE policy has NOT been changed and is within the current law.....this is the most important legal point from all this.

Posted by NP at Thursday, 19 July 2007 at 7:17am BST

NP dear,

The "important legal point of this" is that CofE policy has been b r e a c h e d by the good Bishop.

Breached.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 19 July 2007 at 1:03pm BST

Goran - your comment does not make sense but do see the comment from Peter Ould on his website....this decision has given the precedent for the CofE to implement Lambeth 1.10 legally for lay people too....it is actually a lot better than I first thought as a decision

Posted by NP at Friday, 20 July 2007 at 7:15am BST

Absolutely no exception can be taken to the lifestyle of a celibate gay man?

How about that aspect of their lifestyle that teaches the precise opposite to Christians concerning certain behaviours? What one teaches is part of one's lifestyle.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Friday, 20 July 2007 at 9:17am BST

"...that aspect of their lifestyle that teaches...."

Shall I tell you of my "gay lifestyle" Christopher? It's not much different from most other people's I shouldn't think. What is the stereotype of gay people that seems to so guide your attitudes? How is it different from that of most straight people? Promiscuity? Drugs? If you think these are somehow less prominent among straight people than among gay people, you are moving among a group of atypically chaste and sober straight people. Oh, right, Cameron. Gotcha.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 20 July 2007 at 2:30pm BST

The judgment had it that very few posts are those where lay people should behave like clergy, and even then it said celibacy should not be expected of lay people. Because the bishop did not believe John Reaney and denied him the job, he was found to have discriminated. But he could have been found for discriminating otherwise, that celibacy is not expected for lay people.

In any case, it is about time it was changed for clergy and lay people.

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 1:38am BST

Clergy are allowed to enter civil partnerships at registry offices, in accordance with the law of the land.

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 10:03am BST

Yes, that is the case: wherever you find Christians they will practically always, tho' not always, be more chaste and sober (in the wholesome sense of 'sober') than the average in their society. The pity is that I needed to point out this obvious fact at all.

However it does bring into clear relief the point that is often made these days. Which is: just as America is two nations now, the Anglicans are two communities. And the clearest dividing line is this: In some there is an expectation of transformation and in some there is none. Why? Because some communities have seen and experienced transformation (and therefore cannot help believing in it) and some have not. The latter are obeying the fallacy 'if I have not seen it, it doesn't exist. By that criterion, America did not exist until I visited it 4 years ago.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 1:48pm BST

"In some there is an expectation of transformation and in some there is none."

Completely untrue.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 8:02pm BST

Ford - it is true that some think no transformation is required for certain sins - not greed or materialism on which the bible still has authority in everyone's eyes, just certain sins do not now require repentance, we are told by some

Posted by NP at Thursday, 26 July 2007 at 10:13am BST

NP: sin requires repentance, individual or corporate. That's a QED. However, what your slightly peculiar framework cannot cope with is the belief of some of us that, just possibly, faithful homosexual relationships are not sinful, and therefore that repentance is unnecessary or even wrong. Should I repent of not stoning my disobedient son?

The RC's accept that actions done after a thorough consideration of the issues which are done in conscience, even if they contravene Church teaching, are not classified as sinful - the use of artificial contraception being a case in point. What most of us on this blog are talking about is a similar process, not the straw man nonsense (and inconsistent nonsense - as someone's pointed out repeatedly, divorce isn't a 'core issue' for you) you come out with.

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 26 July 2007 at 12:08pm BST

"certain sins do not now require repentance"

It's getting to be really funny how you make numerous such statements while being completely blind to how they apply to yourself! You can't even see it when it is pointed out to you! Too many exclamation points, but this gives me such a chuckle.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 26 July 2007 at 1:36pm BST
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