Comments: General Synod: Questions on Pilling Report

As a Civil Partnered Christian who places myself on the liberal edge of the Church I regard these questions by Clive Scowen and Andrea Minichiello Williams to be hugely encouraging.

Thinking back to the debates and arguments about homosexuality in Parliament and the Armed Forces over the past twenty years, you could observe that as traditionalists slowly lost the majority and the argument, their voices, language and demeanour became more and more anxious and strident. The same sort of language seen in these two questions.

The level of anxiety raised in traditionalist Christian circles by the Pilling report suggest to me that, unconsciously if not consciously, they can sense that things are slipping away from them.

I don't celebrate that fact, as it is sad to see the anxiety and pain that people are going through as the church changes it's mind on this topic. But it is a necessary change to stop the even greater suffering of gay Christians throughout the world.


Posted by Simon Dawson at Friday, 14 February 2014 at 5:59pm GMT

Those who make the far-fetched claim that heterosexual couples joining together for "mutual help, society, and comfort" and to raise their children (if so blessed) "in the fear and nurture of the Lord" are following an "honorable estate" while same-gender couples who do precisely the same are somehow committing some mortal sin, have always been "free fully to articulate and explain that view." They simply have not been able to do so because it is inarticulate, inexplicable, unintelligible, and indefensible. How much more of this pandering?

Posted by Geoff at Friday, 14 February 2014 at 7:32pm GMT

If no change to the Church of England's teaching is proposed or envisaged then the whole process is a sham. How can there be no change when Pilling also proposes services of prayer and blessing. Why should any lgbt person settle for a second best, an inferior status to the blessed heterosexuals who can have all the benefits of marriage and none of the stigma which the Church still wishes to impose on those it continues to regard as second class citizens. For there to be 'good disagreement' something is going to have to change and I see no signs of it yet.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Friday, 14 February 2014 at 7:59pm GMT

When the obituary of the CofE is written, it will highlight dismal exchanges like these. Ghastly.

Posted by JCF at Friday, 14 February 2014 at 8:57pm GMT

I agree with Richard Ashby that, if there is to be 'no change' to the current Church of England teaching - on marriage and sexual relationships between two people of the same gender - than the whole process of 'facilitated conversations' might just be aborted before they begin.

Any change in attitude that would allow two people of the same gender to commit themselves to a loving faithful monogamous sexual relationship with the Blessing of the Church, would still be impossible - without a change in teaching!

This does sound a bit like the recent refusal of the R.C. bishops of England & Wales to allow the laity in their charge to access the outcome of the Pope's questionnaire on faith and morals. It seems that, whatever has been discussed may never be acted upon by the bishops. so what is the point?

Similarly, if the Church of England has already stated that Church Teaching will not be changed by anything that issues from the much-touted upcoming 'facilitated discussions', what will be their point?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 14 February 2014 at 11:01pm GMT

Sounds like they want 'directive counselling' does it not ?

Posted by Revd Laurie Roberts (not McCain) at Friday, 14 February 2014 at 11:18pm GMT

"In every generation the Church is called to proclaim the faith afresh, not refashioning it ..." Oh, so ordaining women and marrying divorcees (in direct contradiction of 2,000 years of tradition, not to mention the Bible and the best-attested saying of Jesus of Nazareth) is "not refashioning" the faith?

Of course it is. This absurd lip-service to dogmatism hampers everything. It'd be much better if we stopped dancing around the underlying issues (especially using the lives of gay people as a battlefield in a proxy war) and confronted them head-on.

*Why* can't "the faith" change? *Why* do we give the Bible and tradition "authority"? What does "biblical authority" even mean? Fundamentals like those are the questions that should be addressed.

Posted by James Byron at Saturday, 15 February 2014 at 12:00am GMT

If you think 'non-directive counselling' approach of these discussions a sham, the bishops letter which they are calling 'pastoral' will knock you out.

Posted by Revd Laurie Roberts (not McCain) at Saturday, 15 February 2014 at 2:20am GMT

"• the conversations will not be premised on the proposition that scripture is not clear about these matters; and
• participants who believe that scripture clearly teaches that having sexual relationships, otherwise than within the marriage covenant between one man and one woman, is not consistent with Christian discipleship will be free fully to articulate and explain that view?"

I'd love to know how they square that with the widespread (and never condemned) polygamy in the Bible.

Posted by Anne2 at Saturday, 15 February 2014 at 9:12am GMT
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