It's the Christmas season with pastoral opportunities all around and this is what the Bishops have produced ... Oh dear, oh dear.
Well, I hope their discernment has included some reflection on the costs of their latest win in the EAT.
It does seem that this statement is a first class example of writing a lot and saying nothing. I wonder why they bothered.
How one would long to be a fly on the wall at such meetings. Is it possible that even one of the Bishops, gathered in purdah, could have admitted even a fleeting compassion and sympathy for the LGBTI people in the Church they have been anointed by God to 'Shepherd'? I hope a few individual consciences were pricked at the continuing air of hypocrisy surrounding such Holy Huddles.
Can one hope for a better understanding of the situation when the Bishops meet yet again before G.S.2017?
Why on earth wait for bishops' compassion? Rights aren't given, they're taken.
Look what happened in Scotland when the SEC bishops attempted a half-hearted imitation of England's heroically un-pastoral pastoral letter: SEC clergy and laity rose up in righteous fury, and in no time, their province was on the road to equal marriage.
Same can happen in England, but only when her bishops are recognized as the problem, not the solution.
As with the meeting of the College of Bishops in September and the meeting of the House of Bishops in November the discussions took place in private and participants have agreed not to comment on the contents of the meetings beyond their own views.
Because, of course, the mind of the house of bishops is none of our d*mn business.
It sounds like no change to the fudge then... Personally, in this sexually and relationally messy 21st century England, I think the Bishops need to be clearer that they stand by the teaching of Jesus and His Apostles on the nature of marriage, the sinfulness of divorce, and the inherent sinfulness of all forms of sex outside marriage.
Otherwise they are vulnerable to the accusation that they are singling out same-sex relationships as somehow especially heinous.
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