Comments: What is in the Pilling report?

What is extraordinary in Peter Ould's "to the barricades" post is the tone which he adopts. I've often found his reflections some of the most interesting on sexuality, not least because of his own journey. So while I don't share his conservative, and I would say, theologically dubious, perspectives on human sexuality and 'gay healing', I do find him worth listening to and influential. But this post is completely over the top and without doubt mistimed. To be generous, one might say that his guess on what Pilling might say touches him very deeply and has provoked an understandably emotional response. To be less generous, one might say that he's attempting to rally the troops to provoke a pre-publication alteration to what he fears Pilling might say. I would only agree with William Fittall and reflect that Colin Coward of Changing Attitude recently posted a blog saying that Pilling was basically going to be a 'no change' report. So, who knows? Peter Ould certainly doesn't...

Posted by Simon Butler at Wednesday, 30 October 2013 at 2:58pm GMT

The raising of this issue now leads to some interesting speculations. Firstly, what on earth is going on. Peter Ould tells us that he has heard from a umber of sources what the Pilling Report is going to say and sounds the trumpet to rally the troops. We don't know who those sources are and I doubt whether any challenge would reveal them. So what is the purpose?

Could it be that this is a pre-emptive shot across the bows of the Church by the Conservative Evangelicals that all change will be resisted to the death and we are to be cowed into submission by the force of their money and power. They have form, of course, something very similar scuppered Jeffrey John at Southwark and before that at Reading. Whether they have any foreknowledge or not is thus irrelevant. This is an attempt to force the issue before it's too late.

Then there is the interesting role of Mr Ould himself. Why him? He is outside the machinery and structures of the Church, he has no official position at all but a web blog read by many for its eccentric views and personal revelations of a 'post gay' with an axe to grind. He is therefore a safe person to entrust these 'leaks' to since their contents can be authoritatively denied, as has happened. Peter Ould's reliability as a source of authoritative information is further compromised, yet the substance of these 'leaks' remains. Clever.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Wednesday, 30 October 2013 at 7:57pm GMT

"the moment we have a rite that in any way affirms same-sex relationships then we will have fundamentally changed what we believeā€¦"

Poppycock. "Fundamentally...what we believe" is in the CREEDS, not (as I hope for) A Certain Addendum to the marriage liturgy. The Creeds aren't changing.

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 30 October 2013 at 9:02pm GMT

I think you might be right about the tone Simon. But Peter is putting his finger on something important, in two parts.

1. If there is any proposal for some sort of liturgical accommodation, then this inevitably has doctrinal implications no matter what other statement is made.

2. Most people will be unaware of these implications, and will see the two as balancing each other out.

Posted by Ian Paul at Wednesday, 30 October 2013 at 9:29pm GMT

Wow, Peter Ould is pretty full on with his accusation that the CofE is a "Church now blaspheming the Holy Spirit". But not to worry, because (in the comments) he tells us "I am a prophet and I'm telling you what's coming." It's a bit...

Posted by Alastair Newman at Wednesday, 30 October 2013 at 9:55pm GMT

I too had to wonder what poor Peter was ranting for.

Then I read this commentary:
and I think the strategy became a little clearer.

Now I am not really surprised that Peter should choose to reposition himself in such a way, and at this time. Much of this is a reflection of his own journey and the demons he lives with. There is an uncharacteristic tinge of hubris in this piece that makes me wonder .........

I think Colin is missing the bigger picture though and is being sucked into the personal stuff. Peter can argue in a way Colin cannot. Peter's blog is very much his own stuff. Colin's shouldn't be ...

If one takes George Conger seriously - and I really struggle to do that - then he is saying that the new war front for Jensen and his cohorts is the Fosse Way and Watling Street. The gloves are off.

I think we may have missed this declaration of war (or just seen it as more of the same) and Peter is trying to get people to notice.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 31 October 2013 at 1:42am GMT

"What if they gave a schism and nobody came?" It is a tribute to Rowan Williams that he humored the frenetic schismatics long enough to let them lose their steam, so that the stately ship of the Anglican Communion could continue to sail on in triumph. Schism can only work if you strike when the iron is hot, and the would-be schismatics lost their moment of opportunity as they fell over themselves fuming about Rowan or scrutinizing his sometimes Delphic utterances. Now we hear rants from Africa directed against his successor, but they have no traction -- just old and tired repetition of a tawdry message. The ship has sailed.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Thursday, 31 October 2013 at 6:45am GMT

Should the reports be correct that the C of E will now offer such blessings we await a lavish apology from the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Nigel Taber-Hamilton
The Episcopal Church

Posted by Nigel Taber-Hamilton at Thursday, 31 October 2013 at 9:17pm GMT

"Should the reports be correct that the C of E will now offer such blessings we await a lavish apology from the former Archbishop of Canterbury."

Yes, we will wait for that "lavish apology," but we shouldn't hold our collective breath for it. Besides, we're on the way to the sacrament of marriage, already being performed in some dioceses where there's marriage equality. So the ABC's, former and current, can still harass us for exercising our conscience.

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 1 November 2013 at 5:20pm GMT

I'm amazed anyone in TEC still gives to the Compass Rose Society.

Feeding the mouth that bites....

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 1 November 2013 at 8:44pm GMT

Although I have very little time for the former ABC, I don't understand why anyone thinks they deserve an apology from him if the church changed its mind on a major issue after he left office?

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 1 November 2013 at 9:16pm GMT

I do love Dr. Peter Carrell's title for his Gafcon article: GAFFE I and GAFFE II - seems apposite!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 5 November 2013 at 10:21am GMT
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