Comments: reports of the Chartres letter

What I just said in response to George Pitcher's condemnation of Rev. Dudley, at the Torygraph (we'll see if it's published there):

Oh pish-posh, Mr. Pitcher. Do you think Rosa Parks, choosing to sit in the front of the Alabama bus, was not lectured DOWN at, in precisely the same way?

"We make the way by walking it": it has EVER been thus. Praise God for the Glory of ALL the saints!

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 18 June 2008 at 8:41pm BST

Technically and legally, of course, the bishop of London is well within his institutional frame, as in some ways it would seem, so is the parson freeholder.

The real trouble is that I do not follow Jesus in modern daily life so that I can spend a whole lot of time and energy, trapped by this specious Anglican either/or.

Is my discipleship choice, either I joust with conservatives who keep asking for hermeneutics and empirical data which reliably get studiously ignored or spin dried out of meaningful conservative presuppositional existence, or I am all set up to play the stock part of so-called liberal believer in a holier than thou scenario where I am cast narrowly as a target character whose lines are written ahead of time by this same conservatism?

Fact is, all this conservative wrestling back and forth is only going to wear out its fragile welcomes. Of course the bishop of London must feel pressure to police and punish, that being the essence of almost every possible conservative religious preachment these realignment days.

But both of the ready-made roles laid out for us in this realignment scenario are stick-figured and shallow. The adamant conservative believer and the ultra-liberal rebel are both diminished, while the real and deep drama of care, commitment, and change plays out around and beneath and unhindered by all the cartoon warfare being dramatized.

Nobody is going to have their global sky fall in, because two fellows pledged their troth in historical surroundings. Not even if somebody somewhere on the planet is still very afraid of them or very disgusted by them. If the news of this ceremony dismantles your straight marriage, you might have been in trouble way before the news. If it drives your children to use drugs, they might have been hiding a stash in their closet long before you found out.

But back to the loud drama already in progress: Too bad the bishop cannot go after the three hundred or so witnesses who aided and abetted the freeholding parson? Can't we do something awful to those people, too, as a way of showing how fair and good God is? The bishop got it wrong: This is precisely about both civil partnerships as goods among us, meanly defined as not good but evil or sinful. And about fear or disgust or a mix of the two feelings as a call to policing or punishment.

Posted by drdanfee at Wednesday, 18 June 2008 at 9:34pm BST

I found Mr. Pitcher's language a little over the top. He must consult a thesarus and pick out the most smartly sounding alternative and plug it in.

As we all have noted, the Titles of each article is so sensationalized. It's a shame we just don't get clean, unbiased reporting anymore.

Posted by Bob In PA at Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 4:25am BST

Calling Fr Dudley "high camp" is juvenile -- you might as well conflate "high church" and "high camp" altogether, which would be highly offensive to the worshipper at St. Bartholomew's.

The ranters go on and on about infidelity to the Bible. Yes, what a pity the Church of England does not follow Scripture -- if it did gospel charity and that freedom for which Christ has set us free would triumph more often.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 4:53am BST

The inestimable Chancellor Behrens has given this obviously “off the cuff” reaction reported on Ruth Gledhill’s Blog – he is a formidable lawyer who also acts as a Judge – he is also a charming gentleman.

Well, it is very nearly completely clear now (according to Dr Behrens) that this was NOT a wedding – though just at the end he wobbles and calls it a wedding in all but name …… perhaps that accounts for all the confusion elsewhere!

I am sure we are all helped to know that the Bishop’s Statement on Civil Partnerships has no legal force at all – even if it is a valuable tool to understanding, and that there was and remains no consensus on whether these service should be available.

As I understand it – this was a private service for invited guests only and that the service reflected a proper response to what Dr Behrens lays out here in his opinion:

“Where clergy are approached by people asking for prayer in relation to entering into a civil partnership they should respond pastorally and sensitively in the light of the circumstances of each case.”

Bearing in mind those making the approach in this case the pastoral response seems entirely appropriate and sensitive. I cannot say the same for the reaction of the bishop and Primates.

In 2005 some in the House of Bishops were of the opinion that the Church of England was duty bound to provide services following a Civil Partnership and were dismayed when it didn’t happen. It would be helpful if they made their views known now.

On a small matter Dr Behrens would seem to think that a form of words are necessarily a part of entering a Civil Partnership – there are no words of contract, the couple just need to sign the Schedule, though universally the Registration Service offer a rather wonderful (optional) ceremony which we enjoyed enormously when we signed the Schedule.

I look forward to seeing other “opinions” from other Canon lawyers due out soon ….

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 9:19am BST

Pilcher wrote "Importantly, liberals can delay change to orthodox teaching through unilateral and unauthorised stunts."

The contra "Importantly, conservatives can delay change to liberal teaching through unilateral and unauthorised stunts."

A few examples:
- Klu Klux Klan burning blacks on crosses
- Church leaderships aiding and abetting pedophiles and misogynists (God does not care about "least of these")
- Drowning or burning "witches"
- Going to war in God's name based on lies
- Genocidal attempts against Jews, indigenous peoples, non-Christians (including using "Peace Corps" to sterilise Guatamalean Indian Women)

Christians have had over 2000 years and still the marginalized and prophetic are being shunned and attacked. How are such Christian any better than the Jews who engineered Jesus, Peter and Pauls' assassinations?

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 11:40am BST

"you might as well conflate "high church" and "high camp" altogether"

Don't we anyway:-)

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 4:11pm BST

"Technically and legally, of course, the bishop of London is well within his institutional frame..."

So were the Pharisees, Dr Dan.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 21 June 2008 at 7:25am BST
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