Comments: Episcopal clergy respond to bishops guidance on marriage

An excellent letter.

We do not seem to get this kind of protest from Church of England clergy whether gay, or straight.

I wonder why that could be ?

Posted by Laurie at Saturday, 20 December 2014 at 6:02pm GMT

Laurie: It's not quite the same but there was an open letter in February 2012 from over 120 clergy in the Diocese of London to the Times newspaper and to clergy proctors in Synod asking that they might be allowed to hold civil partnership ceremonies on the basis of conscience. Those signing of course risked being marked out as troublesome protestors.

Posted by Nicholas Henderson at Saturday, 20 December 2014 at 8:48pm GMT

Yes, that's very true, Nicholas. That was a sterling witness.

And as you say risky, especially now that the freehold is no more.

Also, I think different cultural and societal dynamics, to South of the Border.

Posted by Laurie at Saturday, 20 December 2014 at 10:14pm GMT

One thing that proposed "management training" for bishops in the U.K. (SEC or CofE) needs to include is how to draft statements on same-sex marriage that don't come across as tone-deaf, heavy-handed and punitive.

The SEC bishops' statement, with its implied threats of defrocking and criminal prosecution, is particularly bad. At this time of year, it comes across as especially Scrooge-like:

"'If [we] could work [our] will," said [the SEC bishops] indignantly, 'every idiot who goes about with ["Happy Same-Sex Marriage"] on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart."

Kudos to for the SEC clergy for pushing back.

Posted by dr.primrose at Saturday, 20 December 2014 at 10:57pm GMT

Bishop Michael Hare Duke (God + rest his soul) must be turning in his grave at this action by his peers.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 21 December 2014 at 4:57am GMT

Nothing about freehold has changed in Scotland in recent years. If we have it (and people may debate that as it certainly hasn't been on the same terms as the Church of England ever) then we still have it.

There's no common tenure north of the border.

Posted by Kelvin Holdsworth at Sunday, 21 December 2014 at 8:02am GMT

"One thing that proposed "management training" for bishops in the U.K. (SEC or CofE) needs to include is how to draft statements on same-sex marriage that don't come across as tone-deaf, heavy-handed and punitive." Dr. Primrose

But if that's what the statement intended to communicate - which I assume it did -I think I'd rather it was written as it was and not in mealy-mouthed management-speak. At least we know where we stand!

Posted by Laurence Cunnington at Sunday, 21 December 2014 at 1:27pm GMT

The statement from the Scottish bishops is sad for a number of reasons.

One suspects the document published in their name began life as a report to them, probably by a lawyer. Here in Wales there are two lawyers on our bench and I could see this as a report from one of them to their brother bishops.
A report of the legal consequences, ecumenical impact and implications for the Communion might be deemed an essential tool in the overall assessment of the great blessing of equal marriage.
What saddens me is that this necessary piece of background work is published as the mind of the bishops: their word and voice; their mind; their heart ...... their prayer.
It is so obviously desperately deficient, and in the context of today a mile away from an appropriate pastoral response to a social development that has been warmly embraced by people of good will.

What is so sad here is the mindset on display that lacked the deeper wisdom to perceive this and guess at the reasonable outrage it was bound to cause.
It was a mistake, I am sure, but the fact that it could happen speaks volumes .........

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Sunday, 21 December 2014 at 5:24pm GMT

Perhaps most disturbing, this passage from the second Herald article:

"The edict was issued several days before same-sex marriage became legal and a fortnight after a visit to Scotland by the figurehead of the Anglican churches, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, where it is understood the matter was discussed."

Why does the Archbishop of Canterbury meddle so much in provinces not his own?

Why do provinces do out-of-character things while, or just after, the Archbishop of Canterbury visits?

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 26 December 2014 at 9:29pm GMT
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