Comments: four English bishops back Duncan

I was just about to cancel my monthly donation to Rochester when I read Ford's comment on the Global South Primates Communique thread. He's absolutely right, just because the muppet in the mitre is wrong doesn't mean the whole diocese should suffer.

Your eyes should be on your own diocese +Roffen. The only CofE bishop with a legitimate voice on communion issues is +Cantaur as primus inter pares - this all looks bitter and twisted because you didn't get the top job!

Posted by Stephen Roberts at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 9:25am GMT

The thought of the CofE without those four characters is certainly appealing!

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 10:02am GMT

"The only CofE bishop with a legitimate voice on communion issues is +Cantaur as primus inter pares....."

- really?
Bet there would be no objections to any CofE bishops supporting TECUSA threatening legal action against +Duncan

The ABC said to +Howe that is the diocese matters more than the "abstract reality" of TECUSA........

Posted by NP at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 10:49am GMT

Can you imagine how my Lord of Rochester and the other signatories here would react if American bishops intervened in their diocesan squabbles?

Posted by Fr Mark at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 11:02am GMT

English Bishops should mind their own business and tend to the needs of their own flocks. They should also keep their mouths shut and stay out of the Episcopal Church's internal affairs. We are quite capable of taking care ourselves over here, thank you very much.

Posted by Richard III at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 11:08am GMT

If the PB's letter is thought unhelpful by these bishops, do they imagine that their interference in the affairs of the Episcopal Church might improve things? Or was that not their intention or concern?

Posted by Lister Tonge at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 11:34am GMT

Good to know that these four Bishops have sufficient time on their hands to attack the elected leadership of The Episcopal Church. I assume that things are going so smoothly in their own jurisdictions that they can justify the expenditure of energy to verbally intervene in the colonies. It is also impressive that the four bishops know a better way for PB Schori to perform her duties under a Constitution and Canons that the four bishops are NOT sworn to uphold.

Posted by Robert at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 12:57pm GMT

Contrary to the assertion of these English bishops, ++Katharine is not threatening litigiousness, but pointing out that actions have consequences. Violating the constitution and canons of the church incurs the strong possibility of disciplinary action. Even two-year olds eventually recognize that actions incur consequences. I'm sure all of these bishops have lots to do in their own dioceses. I suggest they butt out of TEC's business and tend to their own.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 12:59pm GMT

Rock on, +Michael Nazir-Ali, take the Diocese of Richester out of the General Synod of the Church of England because Your Lordship cannot stand to be in the same chamber with those who hold a different theological position from yours on 'wedge' issues (viz. women in the episcopate, same-gender civil unions and, dare I mention, homosexuality). What would happen to you, especially if you had also fixed your eyes on diocesan properties?

Let's be serious. Answer the question?

Under the U.S. legal system, PB Katharine Jefferts Schori has a fiduciary responsibility for properties held in trust by the Episcopal Church. There are always Episcopalians, although a minority in Pittsburgh and Fort Worth, who wish to remain loyal to the Episcopal Church as constituted by its Constitution and Canons. They, too, have contributed to the acquisition and upkeep of those church properties.

In several U.S. jurisdictions the law courts have found in favor of the 'General Convention Church', upholding TEC's Constitution and Canons.

Were the PB negligent in pursuing her fiduciary responsibilities, she and the General Convention Church would be subject to lawsuits by loyal parishioners and clergy for not 'maintaining the discipline of the Episcopal Church' and giving away properties that were vested in the duly constituted church, properties which she had no legal right to give away.

His +Lordship of Chester may be very naive, trying to separate the pastoral from the managerial/legal responsibilities of a PB, saying that the former trump the latter.

Posted by John Henry at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 3:11pm GMT

Well, with four English bishops supporting him, and about the same number in the US, looks like there's a positive wave of support for allowing bishops and their dioceses to do as they please regardless of their vows or canons. I must have missed the chapter in Hooker's Laws of Ecclesiastical Anarchy.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 4:00pm GMT

the usual suspects

Posted by poppy tupper at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 4:26pm GMT

It's time for the Diocese of New Hampshire to send some missionaries to Merry Olde England.

Posted by Richard Lyon at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 5:41pm GMT

“I’m not sure simply saying ‘It’s illegal’ is the best way to produce some healing. What’s needed is a pastoral, healing approach, which attempts to find a way forward.”
Forster of Chester

And yet, and yet, THIS is Forster's own approach to lgbt people.-- legal that is, not pastoral.

He was, of course, investiaged by the police for his homophobic words a few years ago.

Still 4 bishops is very impressive indeed.

The Church has spoken!

Posted by L Roberts at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 5:42pm GMT

It is not a lack of pastoral concern that motivates the Presiding Bishop. There is a basic rule in TEC. Anyone (bishop, priest, or layman) can leave at any time, but the national church owns the property for the use of continuing Episcopalians. Any person can join the Ugandan Church or the Akinolite Church or the Roman Catholic Church or the Unitarian Church or a Hindu Temple. But the church buildings stay in the Episcopal Church. The fact is that they want to take real property which is not their own. This is something up with which the Episcopal Church will not put!

Posted by Andrew at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 5:54pm GMT

Well Duncan has to be told that if he walks he makes a vacancy. A diocese cannot walk, just as parishes cannot. They might make a new one under some other Church, but that would be their choice.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 6:07pm GMT

"or a Hindu Temple" - and a mention of some bishops

How pleasing that the Archbishop of Canterbury has just sent greetings for Diwali to the Hindu community and 'expressed the hope that Christians and Hindus "should renew and further develop the local and national frameworks within which we can explore and appreciate our common and our distinctive characteristics".'

How much more positive this is for the future than all this about people leaving, fracturing, dioceses and national Churches and all the rest.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 6:47pm GMT

Interesting to note, that this time +Dunelm is NOT among their number: maybe Tom Wright has FINALLY awoken and smelled the cuppa? [Or are you Brits awaking to java from St. Arbucks now, too? ;-p]

Particularly sad to see +Chester listed, though: I have such fond memories of visiting that olde town many years ago. I pray he has a change of heart---failing that, may I hope that their will be an *Anglican* bishop in that beautiful cathedral again, soon?

Posted by JCF at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 7:41pm GMT

I trust these worthy lordships are equally vociferous in defending the interests of a certain bishop in Zimbabwe who purports to be leading his diocese out of a "pro-gay" ecclesiastical province.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 7:55pm GMT

It is surprising that Tom Wright's name isn't there, given his keenness to boost his credentials with the Last True Gay Persecutors whenever possible nowadays. Maybe (let's hope) he's seen the error of his ways and decided to give up persecuting Christians for a bit. The other surprising absence from the list of usual suspects at the Witch-Burners Ball is My Lord of Carlisle. Is he back on Planet Earth after his recent "Floods caused by gays" outburst? Or did his chums perhaps decide his name at the bottom wouldn't attract the right sort of headlines?

Posted by Fr Mark at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 8:38pm GMT

I am reminded of the Church of Sweden http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/002699.html Odenberg commented there instances where the bishops of a diocese locked into opposition, even though the sentiment wasn't felt by most parishioners. We can expect similar game plays. There are some who "control" some synods; they will play hard to preserve what they can.

What they can not change is that God moves independently and does not require the priests to effect global healing. Priests would do well to remember things go better for them when they get on with God's missives to heal and bring about peace. Still, if they want to be rude little snits, at least everyone will know why God bypassed them.

Pluralist has also noted Rowan's public statements supporting peace and interfaith dialogue. I wonder how he reconciles that with siding with those that seek to expel and disinherit those who choose love over hate or peace over aggression? How long will he remain credible while he publicly says he is for peace and yet privately advocates separation from the loving elements? Do we trust what he says to our faces, or what his hands are doing behind his back? May God deliver and rescue us those whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. (Proverbs 144:7-8)

Psalms 5:3-6 God discredits those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors. Psalms 109:1-5 they have spoken against us with lying tongues, they attack without cause. In return for friendship they accuse. Even though we act in prayer, they repay us with evil, and hatred for our friendship.

See also Isaiah 30:9-15 or Hosea 10:2-4 “Their hearts are deceitful… They make many promises, take false oaths and make agreements; therefore lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in a plowed field."

The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4) We are no longer infants tossed back and forth, nor blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. (Ephesians 4:14)

Remember God's vision for Jerusalem in Revelation 21: on no day will its gates be shut, and Isaiah 54 ALL children will be taught by God and great will be their peace. Terror will be far removed and we will refute every tongue that accuses.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 10:43pm GMT

Back to the more limited stuff - I wonder if these bishops are going to enquire about oversight from the Southern Cone?

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 12:48am GMT

I like how these English bishops deplore litigation when every major action taken by General Synod has to receive Royal Assent and becomes part of the Acts of Parliament for that year. It seems to me that making your decisions into law is the ultimate form of "litigation."

Posted by John Bassett at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 3:55am GMT

it's worth knowing how these prelates run their own dioceses. look at http://www.gras.org.uk/league2007.htm
you will see that out of a list of the 43 dioceses, when awarded points for their deployment of women, chester comes 33rd, rochester 35th, exeter 37th, and chichester, a pariah diocese in the c of e, comes bottom at 43rd. under nazir ali's leadership, rochester has dropped 17 places.
i conclude that these men have no moral authority to lecture others on how to order their affairs.

Posted by poppy tupper at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 10:26am GMT

Mark - it would have been much more surprising if +Wright's name had been on the letter.

He is clearly for Lambeth 1.10 (as stated in TWR) and he has signed the ACI letter saying the JSC fudge on the TEC HOB NO statement is not acceptable.....so, don't get too hopeful that he has suddenly decided to support those who want to condone behaviour "incompatible with scripture".

You may not like it, but +Wright is very clear on what the bible says re the presenting issues in the AC. He cannot be written off as anti-intellectual or African (as some do, with shocking racism in my view) or charismatic or congregationalist or supporting boundary crossing etc....must be irritating not being able to convince very influential bishops like +Durham and others.

Liberals lost this battle for the soul of the AC, I think, when TEC HOB NO statement was not the unequivocal response ALL the Primates of the AC asked for .....and when the JSC tried to fudge a compromise, despite all the facts.......I think the reports of Fulcrum and the ACI are very influential with the ABC, as is +Tom, and show where the mainstream of the AC is.....whether you like it or not.

Posted by NP at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 2:37pm GMT

"or a Hindu Temple" - and a mention of some bishops

How pleasing that the Archbishop of Canterbury has just sent greetings for Diwali to the Hindu community and 'expressed the hope that Christians and Hindus "should renew and further develop the local and national frameworks within which we can explore and appreciate our common and our distinctive characteristics".'

How much more positive this is for the future than all this about people leaving, fracturing, dioceses and national Churches and all the rest.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 9 November 2007 at 6:47pm GMT

Yes it will be good when he greets and the rest of us in this theologically diverse mix, and 'explore & apprciate our common & diverse our theological perspectives'.

I am delighted he is open to diverse approaches to christology, as this statement must imply.

Next he'll be greeting the Metropolitian Community Church (MCC) --and evetually even gays within the CofE and even unitarians and Sea of Faith within the CofE ......

Posted by L Roberts at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 3:59pm GMT

"Next he'll be greeting the Metropolitian Community Church (MCC) --and evetually even gays within the CofE and even unitarians and Sea of Faith within the CofE ......" Posted by: L Roberts

Perhaps I'd better start tidying up?

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 5:40pm GMT

It is odd that many of the previous commenters think it inappropriate that the bishops should comment on ECUSA matters, yet they feel free to publish their own comments across the globe. Are bishops less free than blog commenters? Or is it simply the case that they disagree with the bishops' views? If they agreed with the bishops' comments, would they have criticised them for commenting? I suspect not. What is more, those who comment here can do so with relative anonymity, therefore requiring relatively little courage. And it shows, for charity is lacking.

Posted by Mark Hart at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 8:28pm GMT

Mark Hart: yes, the bishops represent the institution, so they have to be careful what they weigh into, just as any political leader has to be careful. Equally, I have to be careful not to give into my instincts and swear at NP on here sometimes, because he can see I'm a priest!

Posted by Fr Mark at Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 9:43am GMT

Also, Mark, re your comments on strongly worded postings, isn't it quite understandable that gay people in the Church should feel a but wound up about being the unremitting butt of so much venom for the last six years or so? They say a lot stronger things in private than any you'll read on here. It is important that church leaders who perpetrate injustice are called to account for that, I think. We saw, when the Bishop of Hereford lost his employment tribunal case for discriminating against a gay person this summer, he was not disciplined in any way. He should have resigned, like any other manager who broke the law in such a plainly unethical way. Yet, there was nothing, because C of E leaders are unelected, and totally unaccountable. I don't feel they represent me at all: I think they are doing a catastrophic job as leaders, and wouldn't be up to running any other organisation, as is evident from the current performance of this one. Under those circumstances, it isn't surprising that some frustrations need to be vented at the grass-roots level. Being Christians, we keep the stilettos locked away in the sacristy safe, of course!

Posted by Fr Mark at Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 10:38am GMT

"Are bishops less free than blog commenters?"

Well. let's see: bishops make public statements that can influence the way the world understands Christianity. If you want to see what the world sees, watch South Park. They can bring disrepute on the Gospel far more effectively than laypeople, though we have an effect as well. Further, bishops can have political power. We can't forget that at least one Anglican bishop supports a law that would jail even those who dare to be nice to gay people. What effect do we in the blogosphere have? Likeminded people move towards or away from each other's opinions, while those on opposite sides just hurl invective at one another. Once in a while there'll be a calm voice on one side or the other, the more sober minded will be called back to some sort of civility for a while, there'll be a slight softening of some people's positions on certain things, then we return to voicing our opinions. You can't seriously believe the voices of the blogosphere will have the impact of the public statements of a +Duncan or an +Akinola? And, if you grew up knowing you were an object of fear and loathing, whom God hates, who many consider worthy of death, who worked through all that and found some inner healing, then were confronted by people piously lying about you, calling you inhuman, seeking to jail you or those who are supportive of you, and basically denying your humanity, insulting you, and claiming YOU are the evil one for defending yourself against their lies, propaganda, aand general hatred, you might get a little testy from time to time, no? Especially when they claim God is on their side.

Posted by Ford Elms at Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 9:00pm GMT

I don't have a problem with bishops having opinions and being honest about them.

It should also be remembered that we have been dealing with censorship and repression for quite some time.

There are many anecdotal stories from parishioners who were having a problems with aggressive ministers/bishops but whose concerns and correspondence disappeared into a black hole, and similar dynamics in more vulnerable situations such as theological colleges and boarding schools.

My issue is that there has been no honest appeal process nor method for trial and a fair hearing where there are complaints of harassment and repression.

Consequently, I have complete contempt for solo scriptural arguments because I have seen first hand the dirty politics and censorship that is required to have their "bullet-proof" arguments. The reality is that most of their theological arguments dissipate into ashes on both quantitative and qualitative debates in a fair fight. That's why they've had to use gutter politics to maintain "credibility".

The beauty of the internet is that their normal strategies of denying that they did or said certain things are proven scams and bald-faced lies on many occasions. Just as the blatent removal of postings by unsuitables and banning from certain sites proves beyond reasonable doubt that they haven't been fighting fair.

Bishops might whimper about sites like TA, their fear is that their dirty shenanigans can be seen by the whole world. Let them wear their pretty clothes and preen in their pretty temples, God knows the cruelty and despotism that drives much of their self-righteous culture.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Monday, 12 November 2007 at 8:01am GMT

No Pluralist.

Come as you are !

Posted by L Roberts at Monday, 12 November 2007 at 10:18pm GMT

Fr. Marks's words are on the ball and wise, to my mind. For what that's worth as a non-bishop, and non-straight !

Stilettos may have their uses still ! Why do you think some of us (bishops included ) are so dizzy ?

Posted by L Roberts at Monday, 12 November 2007 at 10:22pm GMT

"Being Christians, we keep the stilettos locked away in the sacristy safe, of course!"-Fr. Mark

MY, we are spikey aren't we? Red, magenta or violet pumps? Would be such a waste of good shoes. Perhaps a baseball (cricket?) bat.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 12:20am GMT

"Red, magenta or violet pumps"

Red for Palm Sunday and the feasts of martyrs, magenta for Gaudete and Laetare Sundays, and violet for Lent and Advent. If you choose, wear your blue for Advent, and your violet for Lent, or, if you have an off white "unbleached linen" looking pair, that would be proper Sarum use for Lent as well. Blue also for Marion Feasts, of course, especially if they are of Spanish manufacture.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 5:31pm GMT

choirboyfromhell: Get 'er! Sequin-studded cricket bat, if you please.

Posted by Fr Mark at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 7:07pm GMT

Oooh...sounds like any color will do, as long as it doesn't clash w/ my neck ruff. Do you guys wear them matching those 'aprons' you high churchmen wear during communion, excuse me, mass?

Trouble of it is, being hit by them wouldn't make much difference. There isn't much to hit to begin with, and what little of it that is left is probably atrophied from non-use. Look at the space between the eyes for the +one up and across the Ohio River.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 9:15pm GMT

Can women join in even if they don't do cricket bats? I can do sequin stilettos in all colours.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 9:24pm GMT

RAINBOW STILETTOS!!!!! COOL!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 10:19pm GMT

"any color will do"

Laxity in things Liturgical is sin against the Holy Spirit! Green, purple, magenta(well, rose), blue, white, gold, red, unbleached linen, black, these are the only colours, and only at their specified times, thank you. We know in our heads what season it is and what the Church is focussing on. The colours let our eyes know what's going on. Just like the incense let's our noses know God is near, and the bells tell our ears where we are in the service. Sniffed the smug Anglo-catholic: we don't only worship with our head, you know:-)

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 1:11pm GMT

It's too bad, but using color is worthless on those who only see in black and white. (And often miss the meaning of the words written in red)

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 4:05pm GMT

i'm sure this is all great fun, but while we are giggling at buskins more concentrated minds are deliberately planning ways to remove liberal thought from the anglican communion. sorry to break up the party, but they aren't playing games, and women and gay people are the primary victims, though those who are neither but just people of good will are also losers in all this.

Posted by poppy tupper at Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 5:23pm GMT

Oh my oh my, what have I unleashed on here now!

Posted by Fr Mark at Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 5:25pm GMT

"i'm sure this is all great fun,"

Indeed it is. It would be so much better for your soul if you lightened up and enjoyed the scattered laugh yourself. You might find yourself revived for the fight, actually. I agree with your assessment of the situation, but we all need a good laugh once in a while, and if it's poking good natured fun at ourselves, what's the harm? Your response reminds me of a joke:

Q. How many radical feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. THAT'S NOT FUNNY!!!!!

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 6:16pm GMT

Poppy Tupper (dividing the petals from the stems???)-

They will never take away our faith. Seeing the humor in my Jewish friends is the astounding result of their fortitude against adversity.

I've had the NP types crawl out of the hills (literally, I come from Appalachia) and try to mind control me into submitting to their ill-begotten background of self-taught cookbook bibliotry and emotional sabotage ridden groups. There are "Churches of God" and "Bible Believing Churches" a-plenty back in my old home. And laughing at their nonsense is often the best we can do.

And it's seems to be something we can do and they can't. Laugh at ourselves, it's amazingly humble and purifying. And a taste of our anger will occasionally hit one of them in the head with the idea of how horribly hurt we LGBT folks are.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 7:55pm GMT

poppy: are we allowed to giggle as they lead us to tthe firing squad?

Posted by Fr Mark at Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 8:58pm GMT

choirboy and fr mark. that's the problem. they don't have a sense of humour, they have a driving moral purpose and they will not be diverted. so, while others are sitting giggling they are planning their next move. who would have thought that the AC would find itself in this mess? or who would have thought that the c of e, which has been in many ways so welcoming to gay people as laity and as priests, would be the main persecutor of gay lifestyles in england, a country which has so warmly accepted them? and who would have thought that gay priests would be finding common cause with evangelicals who are destroying the inclusivity of the church? in the early days of general synod, anglo-catholics said synodical gorvernment was wrong and they boycotted it, preferring to sit and giggle. i'm not without a sense of humour, but tired old jokes about liturgical colours will not revive us for anything. and sitting back while those who are genuinely our enemies complete their destruction of our church will only speed up the process. take the rebuke and get working.

Posted by poppy tupper at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 8:28am GMT

There's a lot of truth in what you say, poppy, but humour helps us keep a sense of perspective, too.

Posted by Fr Mark at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 8:54am GMT

Poppy,
I share your concerns but I think most of us have woken up to the dangers by now. We can work and giggle at the same time. God forbid I ever lose my sense of humour!

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 9:34am GMT

"take the rebuke "

And as you cannot possibly know what each of us here is doing to change the status quo, I shall take this as an attempt at being funny.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 9:37am GMT

"so, while others are sitting giggling they are planning their next move."

You know, it's one thing to have an accurate perception of reality, which you do, it's quite another to allow that perception to take the joy from your soul and wound your humanity. God isn't going to allow the Gospel to die. This idea that we are, or could ever be, under threat is actually a mistrust of the power of God to lead His Church. I won't buy into it, neither from Conservatives nor from Liberals.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 12:11pm GMT

poppy tupper-I'll take the tired old jokes any day over the same tired old arguments. At least they listen to the jokes. Your rebuke indicates fear, desperation and uncertainty. Lack of faith is the first step in defeat. Sorry, I disagree with your rebuke, reject it, but hope for the best for you in our common struggle against the religious extremists and idolaters that are hijacking Christianity, let alone Anglicanism.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 2:13pm GMT

my, we quickly lose our sense of perspective and sense of humor when someone challenges us, don't we? it was all so old, so tired and so camp. there are plenty of good opportunities for laughter in all of this, but that sort of gin lace and backbiting have been the downfall of the anglo-catholic movement, to which i owe my faith, and whose demise i mourn.

Posted by poppy tupper at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 2:51pm GMT

"who are genuinely our enemies complete their destruction of our church"

Poppy, this has been playing on my mind since this morning's somewhat snide (forgive me) response to your post. "They" are not our enemies. "They" are fellow Christians, just as sincere in "their" beliefs as we are, and who think "us" just as misguided as "we" think "them". Whatever "they" do, "we" cannot fall into the trap of demonizing "them" as the enemy. Even if you can go that far, we are called to love our enemies and bless those that hate us. I don't often achieve that, I grant you, but your perception of "them" and your identification of "them" as the enemy seems to have put a great deal of fear in your soul. God, believe it or not, loves "them" just as much as He loves "us", so we can't hate "them" no matter what "they" do. If "they" hate "us", that's on "their" souls. But don't give in to the paranoia that drives "them", as it certainly does. "They" claim that TEC is a bunch of heathens out to destroy the Church, isn't that much the same as what you said of "them"? Remind me of this when I fall off the wagon and go aboard of NP, which is liable to be after Simon puts up the next set of posts.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 4:25pm GMT

poppy tupper: My intents were to never dis-credit the Oxford Movement and Anglo-Catholism at all. With it's noble aim of bringing beauty and meaning of "Glorifying God" to the oppressed, poor and destitute in the not-so-nice parts of the industrialized centers of the world, it is not something to be slighted. I respect it deeply and am truly sorry if my jokes about it were hurtful to you.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 2:52am GMT

poppy: I don't like the camp backbiting A/Cath culture either. But I think it came about largely as a side-effect of the need to create a safe space for gay men in the church decades ago, when they didn't have it anywhere else. Strangely enough, it is a culture that seems to be most alive and well in Forward in Faith circles...

By the way, surely there's nothing wrong with lace (every stitch a prayer) or gin (we're here, we're queer and we'd quite like a gin and tonic!)?

Posted by Fr Mark at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 8:59am GMT

i thought long and hard before using the word enemy here, as i knew it would attract criticism. in the end i decided to use it, on the authority of the psalms. i never suggested we should hate the enemy, or do them harm, or say they are not christians, just that they are the enemy. they are the enemy of the truth, the enemy of life, the enemy of inclusiveness and the enemy of women and gays. the psalmist isn't afraid of using the word, so why should we be?

Posted by poppy tupper at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 9:33am GMT

Choirboy, you're right of course. In my reaction against what I saw as humourlessness, I missed entirely that I was likely causing hurt. Poppy, I didn't intend at all to mock your beliefs. I'm an Anglocatholic myself, and I really don't think there's anywhere else in Anglicanism that my faith could find nourishment. The things I was laughing at are mportant aspects of my faith as well. I wasn't, if this doesn't sound too trite, laughing AT these things, but with them. Seriously, I don't know any Anglocatholic who doesn't do that. I think it's one way of expressing the fact that vestments ad ritual aren't really essential to the faith, though important to our personal expression of it.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 11:03am GMT

"the psalmist isn't afraid of using the word, so why should we be?"

How can we criticise those who don't agree with us for using harsh language if we do the same? The psalmist didn't know 21st century sensibilities and nuances.

I think what I find most difficult for myself is to continue to disagree with those who want to demonise me without turning into a left wing version of them myself. I don't want to end up with the same cold heart and closed mind, I don't want to see "them" as everything negative that, luckily, I'm not.
And I find that using words like "enemy" fosters this kind of development in me, so for the sake of my own spiritual health I have to force myself to find other words to describe those I disagree with.

If you can use the word enemy without it corrupting your own soul you're stronger than I am.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 12:21pm GMT

"I think what I find most difficult for myself is to continue to disagree with those who want to demonise me without turning into a left wing version of them myself. I don't want to end up with the same cold heart and closed mind, I don't want to see "them" as everything negative that, luckily, I'm not."

Amen!!!! I also fail with great frequency.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 2:01pm GMT
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