Comments: Pilling Report published

Yet another victory for Thomas Erastus- - first women bishops and now same sex blessings, whatever next.?

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 1:51pm GMT

Just read it (though admittedly quickly). I think it fairly reflects the situation we find ourselves in. That said, I'm not entirely sure that the recommendations always follow from the arguments (local decisions re blessing for same-sex-partnerships short of same-sex-marriage are okay – even for clergy – but we all still have to abide by the Church's teaching on sex?). The section on interrogating ordination candidates re their sexual life seemed, for instance, still to accommodate a polite sort of fudge, which may sometimes respect our need for privacy, but which doesn't always honour our need for integrity and for a happy conscience. It’s hard to come up with a convincing way to promise to abide by the church’s teaching (until it changes) while intending to do the opposite. It’s not easy. Perhaps crossing one’s fingers or winking is still the best way of dealing with the situation, unless we want to exclude the conscientious. Still, the report presents an honest, if frustrating, attempt to acknowledge that we’ve got to deal with the Bishops ‘sort of’ having a position (I don’t think ‘Issues’ ought to be regarded as quite so official in terms of Church teaching per se, but that’s another debate). I suspect that there was need for more of a discussion on how change actually occurs in the Church, how we test whether this or that is of the Spirit, how we leave room for the potentially prophetic – not just grudgingly, but enthusiastically. The reiteration of allowing (and expanding) local pastoral responses is perhaps an important nod in that direction. This seems to move further than pastoral accommodation inasmuch as it sounds more public and communal – no bad thing. Overall, the report models the fact that there is now space for a real conversation; the majority seem to think that the position (or at least the behaviour) of the Church should (or may well) change (in some way or other) – and perhaps sooner than later if we follow their conversation proposals. The tone would suggest that such a change would shift away from our having one official line (and some ambiguous room for lay dissenters) to our officially having a real diversity of lines– a situation with obvious parallels in the way we deal with conflicts over who can or can’t be ordained. I think that’s a real contribution: not earth-shattering, not horribly dramatic, but modelling a particular Anglican way of broaching the topic – with all the attendant joys and frustrations of our way of proceeding....

Posted by Joe at Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 2:48pm GMT

I've only skimmed through this fairly quickly but it does seem to represent a completely different tone from reports or comments issued as recently as last year? Dare I say it sounds quite 'grown-up' for the C of E? As if the authors live in something approximating to the real world? Of course the behemoths will be even now rising from the Anglican Mainstream swamp bellowing 'Never!' but this (twice in a month) seems to be another example of the C of E actually listening and responding to the vast majority of people who go to church on a Sunday, or who at least wish the church well.

Posted by stephen Morgan at Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 3:02pm GMT

Perhaps this is the best the CofE can hope for at this time, but *Oy Vey!* still disappointing.

* From the summary: "met a number of gay and lesbian people, often in their homes". ["And they have homes, who knew?!"] This "We saw the animals in the zoo" tone does not inspire trust.

* "6. No one should be accused of homophobia solely for articulating traditional Christian teaching on same sex relationships." It's NOT "traditional", and it IS *homophobic*. I'm going to let my yes be "Yes", and call homophobia "Homophobia!"

* "7. The Church should continue to pay close attention to the continuing, and as yet inconclusive, scientific work on same sex attraction." Good luck w/ that, since the term "same sex attraction" isn't scientific. "SSA" is an *ideological* term, designed to *dismiss* LGB people to mere "attractions" (e.g. "I really love blondes!"), rather than God-given, immutable *orientations*.

Again, maybe this is the best that can be hoped for. But this Ignorant Yank is blessed that TEC's approach---while still far from perfect---is less stingy w/ its blessings for LGBTs.

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 30 November 2013 at 1:23am GMT
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