It would be helpful in order to gain some perspective to have an idea how many rectors there are in the C of I. Anyone know?
Here we go again. The evangelicals and other conservatives have lit their hair on fire once more and threaten us that if we don't agree with them they will burn down the house. They threaten us that they will be forced into schism rather than to tolerate the vowed love between two persons. Once again, they drag the name of Jesus through the mud and they use the Bible not as the good news of Jesus Christ but as a weapon against their fellow Christians.
Is it any wonder that the average Irish person sees the Church more as a bastion of immorality than as a moral teacher?
Kelvin - I am reliably informed there are approximately 896 clergy in the C of I (including retired clergy).
So if 64 clergy attended the EFIC meeting (80% of 80 people) that would be about 7% of all the Irish clergy.
Perhaps the homophobia these conservatives publicly exhibit will ignite disgust and disapproval from the public at large. The sheer hypocrisy of those who do not want to see inclusive theology applied to women's ordination to priesthood and episcopate and same-gender marriage may yield a reaction the Far Right has not counted on from the general population of Ireland. Fairness and justice issues trump right wing political attacks on fellow citizens.
There are about 450 parish units (and therefore rectors)in the CofI. It would be quite interesting to see a few names...
This is not just about homophobia of course. Reform Ireland have had a long campaign against the House of Bishops and especially the (former)Theological College, which was damned for its middle-of-the-road liberalish catholicish ethos (Not that there would be anything exactly tridentine in the CofI). And of course a former lecturer was...one Tom Gordon. Payback time, do you think? I suspect that the average view on homosexuality in the church here is "dont ask, dont tell"; but we're very hot on keeping together, even though we're rather disparate. I think the bringing over of Wallace Benn will smack of disloyalty, which is MUCH worse than sodomy....
One must expect violent opposition from the nay-sayers on aspects of gender and sexuality in the Church. Enlightenment can be a very painful experience. Look at Galileo!
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