Thinking Anglicans

civil partnerships: Richard Chartres writes

A letter, written by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has been published at Anglican Mainstream. It appears that the letter was sent only to a select set of parishes in that diocese.

Ruth Gledhill has written about this on her blog: Church of England expected to revise Civil Partnership Guidelines.

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Spirit of Vatican IIJohn HenrydrdanfeePrior AelredCheryl Clough Recent comment authors
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Merseymike
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Once again, gay people who choose to make their relationship permanent and official are treated worse than those who say nothing.

This will simply mean that even fewer gay people will be interested in the CofE. I am certainly not in the least tempted to return to active worship in such an environment.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

If the bishop’s letter to a “select few” is a communal letter in response to correspondence from those people, he is merely being polite. I noted the comment about context: “The Statement was of course drafted at a time when the Government was officially giving assurances that they did not intend to introduce same sex marriage by another name…” This recent article expresses some Catholics’ concerns about validating diverse family models http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=21419 It seems some souls have forgotten why diverse “family” models are fostered. It reflects the reality that souls do not get to live the “ideal”, often by circumstances… Read more »

Ley Druid
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Ley Druid

“The Church of England has not always been clear about the relative weight and authority of the documents it produces and the contexts in which they should be construed. Under the leadership of the present Archbishop I believe that we should be able to clarify the situation.” Some primates issue a communiqué challenging another primate (elect) and the ecclesiastical structure of the communion. What is the response of Dr. Williams? Some English bishops have challenged the Church of England’s guidelines to civil partnerships. What is the response of Dr. Williams? To what “leadership” of Dr. Williams might the Right Honorable… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

How clever of the Bishop of London who has to respond to people trying to catch him out. Read between the lines and see that this is by no means the anti-gay stance it might appear, and I smile that Anglican Mainstream presumably took it as such! There are huge slaps on their wrists for politicising this issue and losing the bigger picture…

Byron
Guest
Byron

It’s disappointing to see that the Bishop of London, Anglican leader of one of the most sophisticated cities in the world and a place of great spiritual power, is also an “orthodox” homophobe. Forced “singleness” as the only option for gay men and women is cruel – and sham unnatural marriages to opposite sex partners is both anachronistic and unfair to both parties. Gay (and straight) Christians in London deserve better.

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

As I said over at RG’s (not holding my breath to see whether it shows up or not!), +Chartre is, proverbially, trying to double the guard on the tomb door (but the resurrection has ALREADY happened!).

LGBTs, too, now are “Easter People”, Bishop Chartre.

They’re not going back. Alleluia! 🙂

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo

Few clergy with families wish to work in the less desirable inner city areas of London, and as a result many of these positions end up being filled by gay clergy. Anecdotally, Richard Chartres probably oversees more gay clergy than any other bishop in the UK, and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is pretty high on the agenda – gay clergy know to keep their heads below the parapet to avoid getting taken out. I’m afraid Chartres’ ambiguity, as with Williams’, whilst perhaps trying to calm matters, just ends up fudging the issues – something the CofE seems rather… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ruth Gledhill writes: “Chartres is hesitant to create an impression of “disunity” among the bishops, fearing this would further fuel the revisionist agenda. But his own views are clear: “The Church assists all its members to a life of faithful witness in chastity and holiness, recognising two forms or vocations in which that life can be lived: marriage and singleness [Gen II:24; Matt XIX: 4-6; I Cor. VII passim.] There is no place for the Church to confer legitimacy upon alternatives to these.”” Now, is this responsible reporting or irresponsible journalism? We know tha ++Akinola “reads” the mind of God,… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

JCF – what a lovely image…I like it! Given he was repsonding to reactionary forces trying to trap him I’m not sure what else the Bishop of London could have said. The main point is that on the ground he has not politicised the issue with regard to his clergy and indeed does not ask intrusive questions. His behaviour in no way would mark him out as anti-gay and even his careful words – when selected and nuanced as I do below – should not be interpreted as music to keep the other guards on the tomb door happy. “The… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Certainly CP’s are here to stay, and if the CofE seriously thought they were anything other than an application of the civil marriage template to gay couples, they were being naive.

simon dawson
Guest

+Richard’s letter is an interesting statement when read against the recent Inclusive Church statement, and I quote: “We believe it is important in this context for the Church of England to be clear on its current practice. Namely, that hundreds if not thousands of same-gender partnerships have been celebrated over the past thirty years, in churches, by priests and deacons. Further, that there have been, and in the future no doubt will be homosexual bishops in relationships within our church.” +Richard can make the statement quoted here, but when my partner David and I were preparing our covenant service in… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

The remarks about the government and the Civil Partnership Bill/Act are strange. The Lord’s amendment opening Civil Partnerships to siblings and others “undermined the official line”, it was a wrecking amendment mounted by those opposed to the principle of the Bill – it is at least disingenuous for those involved in the consultations that produced the Bill to pretend otherwise or that they intended no mischief by it. All through the Parliamentary process Ministers were clear that the rights enjoyed by those entering a CP should mirror those in a civil marriage. If the English bishops’ who drafted their response… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

I too follow Jesus of Nazareth as risen Lord. These deep new conservative religious yearnings for power – and especially for policing powers to make the worldwide communion into something more uniform than relationships of inquiry, discussion, and affection will sustain – are probably doomed to a certain success, to a certain extent. Queer folks, progressives, and people of other world religions/spiritual paths will still be among us all. We will be working in the productive teams at your company, hospital, school, or research institutes. We will be falling in love with other men or women and mature enough to… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Remember that in 2002 Chartes was pretty-well ruled out of consideration for the position of Archbishop of Canterbury because, although the head of the most populous diocese in the Anglican communion and a “natural” candidate for the position, he had (has?) yet to ordain a woman to the priesthood. Also consider that Gledhil, though generally maintaining a front of journalistic impartiality, pretty consistently highlights and supports the agenda or the theology, of those working to split ECUSA.

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

Tend to agree with Neil on this: the radical revision of orthodox teaching lot is surely the GS mafia, and the call to repentance across the entire Church for making this a big thing and the wish no longer to be distracted from getting on with serious issues is a direct two fingers to the homophobes, but done so cleverly that they can’t say a thing.

Andrew
Guest

I don’t think that Richard Chartres is homophobic, but anyone who knows the Diocese of London knows how silly it is for him to take the “orthodox” line in such a public way. He has ordained more gay people, I think, than any bishop in the Anglican Communion.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

It’s all about returning to the divinely-ordered Western society of the 1950s. At that time women earned their salvation by being submissive to their husbands, bearing them 2+ children. The gays were content to live in the closet, mostly married pretending that they were part of a ‘happy’ family. People of color – in the U.S. – were mostly barred from the professions, content to be janitors and domestic servants. Of course, women weren’t eligible to serve on vestries, parish councils, let alone gain admission to theological schools, which, for the most part, were ‘all male clubs’. As late as… Read more »

Emeka Peters
Guest
Emeka Peters

Ambassador Isaac Sagay, Former Nigerian Ambassador to the Holy See has written an interesting article on Abp. Peter Akinola entitled, ‘Peter Akinola: From Carpenter to Primate. It was published in Nigeria’s The Guardian (1st October 2006). http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/ibru_center/article09 “Indeed, for those familiar with his ways, his spiritually inspired principled stand against the might of revisionist gospellers in the Christian Churches of the Northern hemisphere, was as predictable as it was inevitable. But what gives his opposition validity and integrity, is that he regards the fight for the soul and sanctity of the Church, against the depredation of deviant homosexual Priests, as… Read more »

*Christopher
Guest

No. He may not be homophobic, but this makes clear the kind of arbitrariness our gay and lesbian priests live with, and it makes clear the hypocrisy of English bishops who will drain these people of all their worth and leave them trembling before constant rule changes.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

John It is true that it is possible to idealize the past when we suffer from nostalgia and fear. It is also easy to get people in pews when they are literally in fear of their lives. But being in church does not mean being in communion with God. And the problem with nostalgia is that we often overlook the costs of those periods. Your posting rightly points out what women couldn’t do (it was the same in Australia). What needs to also be said (and I think you would agree?) is that made women extremely vulnerable to abusive men,… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Well, I know how to interpret ++Frank Griswold, but I fear that +Richard Chartres is beyond me — I’m sure he meant something — or maybe not…

In any case, I found the link to the article about ++Akinola quite interesting — not least the fact that the Scriptural figure to whom the author found it most apt to compare “the Lion of Ajuba,” was Pontius Pilate (who thought nothing of sacrificing others to maintain his own power) — apparently without the least sense of irony!

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The strain in Bishop C.’s comments is obvious to anybody who is alive and trying to do common sense well in, say, queer life or progressive citizenship in modern London. Sexual orientation and gender variances are part of the complicated ranges of deep shapes that exist, more or less influentially, at that same inner bedrock level where we find and experience the persistent truth that none of us live or die alone. So the bishop’s comments offer lots of wiggle room for people who have to live and love and work, outside the two commanding categories of either exclusively straight… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Thank you, Cheryl, for your gracious comment. As you affirm, people do weird things ‘out of fear’: “It is also easy to get people in pews when they are literally in fear of their lives. But being in church does not mean being in communion with God.” God may be more inclusive than that, working on our transformation from ‘fear’ to ‘love’ of those who are different from us, including our ‘enemies’, inasmuch as “perfect love (of God) casts out fear.” It’s not only fear-mongering churches that attract people, as Karl Rove, the godly U.S. President’s traditionalist Episcopalian minister of… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest

Civil partnerships are being celebrated with great nobility and joy by many in London now, with priests blessing them (see a sermon given on one such occasion by Enda McDonagh in this month’s Furrow). The Bishop of London seems to be locked in some musty boudoir.