Comments: criticism of the presidential address

Oh dear RW. We are never going to get past our impasse on queer folks in global Anglican church life until/unless we confront and work through the flat earthisms which are the core of our negative legacies about queer folks. Sidestepping to stay together seems like a strategy; but in the long run simply will not do. Further, the technical paths laid out as unity preserved simply presume that unity in this negative flat earth conformity will presume engagement - with the very queer folks and allies who are the identified targets of these nasty beliefs and immorality tags. Yet where in global church life do we see that unity in negative conformity encourages, let alone requires such engagement with those so targeted?

Sidestep the flat earthisms all we want, no way forward is possible except in ethical and empirical and theological re-evaluation of whether sexual orientation is, indeed, flat and square, categorically heterosexualized and nothing but, or truly something alternative as creature and natural order.

Things are going to get worse before we get better.

PS bravo and thanks, to all - Ekkelsia, Hensman, SS, KH ... others ... for speaking up so clearly.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 4:14pm GMT

Simon, it looks as though the Church of England wants to be able to fire the parish bookkeeper after all, if there are whispers that she is living with another woman.

Posted by Charlotte at Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 5:33pm GMT

As a resident in another EU member state (Finland), I am profoundly puzzled how this legislation is being seen as so far-reaching in the UK, whereas I am not aware of any equivalent debate going on elsewhere in Europe – certainly not here. The substantive issue should be essentially the same in all member states - and, surely, will be especially problematic for the Roman and Orthodox churches, as well as many Evangelical ones – yet the only place where I have heard of any debate of this specific nature is in the UK. This makes me suspect that the relationship between the New Labour agenda and the alleged over-riding supranational legislation is in fact less simply top-down than we are being told.

Posted by Keith Battarbee at Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 8:18pm GMT

Whatever we may think about Rowan's Opening words at the General Synod, even his most ardent critic must give him some credit for the outcome of the P.M.M. regarding pension rights for same-sex clergy partners. His belated apology to LGBT persons must have helped members of the Synod to at least consider the financial plight of the survivors of homosexual partnerships, and vote accordingly.

Yes, Archbishop Rowan did not immediately open the doors to a full discussion in the Church of England on human rights and on the theological justification for gay and lesbian clergy, but what he did say was enough to allow GS members to acknowledge the fact that there actually are gays and lesbians within the ranks of the clergy, and that they should be acknowledged as part and parcel of the Church of England.

In this, the Archbishop was much more honest and helpful than the likes of some speakers, including the Bishop of Winchester, who, with the ACNA-friendly members of Synod wanted ACNA to be recognised as fully-paid-up members of the Anglican Comunion - despite their schismatic actions on grounds of the supposed impurity of GBT clergy and Laity in the Church.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 12 February 2010 at 4:34am GMT
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