Thinking Anglicans

reactions to the adoption decision

The BBC interviewed Cardinal Murphy O’Connor on the radio this morning, see report (with link to audio): Cardinal warns of ‘new morality’.

Ekklesia has a news article on all this: Cardinal raises debate about church-government relations after adoption row and also this here.

Ekklesia has also published a comment article, Conscience and justice by Savi Hensman in which she analyses some of the implications of the Anglican archbishops’ recent letter.

The Telegraph has published an article claiming that Opt-out refusal ‘bans church from public life’.

Tom Wright’s rant to Ruth Gledhill (also summarised here) about the decision drew scorn from Jim Naughton who in a piece titled …or weird by Michael Jackson said:

…But being called arrogant by N. T. Wright, is like being called ugly by Jabba the Hutt.

This remark is a reference to an earlier critique of NTW which was titled N. T. Wright: Le Communion c’est moi.

And Savi Hensman has also sent an open letter to NTW which is reproduced below the fold.

Dear Bishop Tom,

I read with surprise your comments quoted in The Times today. I gather that you expressed indignation that the government has come up with ‘a new morality which it forces on the Catholic Church after 2,000 years’ and is seeking to ‘tell the Roman Catholic Church how to order one area of its episcopal teaching’. While you and I would disagree on the theology of sexuality, surely this is not the issue.

The guiding principle for ordering adoption should be the best interests of the child. Roman Catholic adoption agencies already consider as adoptive parents people whose views and lifestyles are not in accord with its teachings, and rightly so. If, for instance, an atheist is able and willing to offer a loving home which is likely to meet the often extensive needs of a particular child, her offer may be taken up without any change in fundamental Church doctrines. As you know, providing appropriate care for a child who may have had a very difficult start in life is not easy, and few people are ready and able to do this successfully. If lesbian and gay couples can be added to the pool of potential adoptive parents, provided they pass through a rigorous selection process, this increases children’s chances of finding parents who can bond with them and provide nurture and security.

This is an open letter; please feel free to share it with anyone you wish.

With best wishes,

Savi Hensman
Vice-Chair
LGCM (Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement)

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Göran Koch-SwahneChristopher ShellFr Joseph O'Learymynsterpreost (=David Rowett)laurence Recent comment authors
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Merseymike
Guest

I think the country would be infinitely better off if the church did withdraw from public life

I think its influence is anything but positive.

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor: “It does seem to me we are having a new norm for what marriage is, because I think normally children should be brought up by a father and a mother and I think that we hold that that is extremely important.” Surely an exaggeration? We are seeing the emergence of an expanded understanding of “family” but not a change in the central norm. The Church does not want to be seen to subscribe to that expansion. Yet it seems that its adoption practices already subscribe to other once abhorred arrangements — cohabiting couples, single gay parents, invalidly married… Read more »

Josh Thomas
Guest

Dear Friends, Please pass this link on to those in Changing Attitudes who are concerned for the safety of Davis Mac-Iyalla and any other openly-Gay people in Nigeria:

An immigration judge in the U.S. has granted asylum to a Gay immigrant from Mexico facing persecution in that country. It is rare for Gay people to be granted asylum under U.S. law, no matter what level of persecution they may face. The Los Angeles Times reports:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-persecution31jan31,0,2513535.story?coll=la-home-headlines

I know that Davis has not sought asylum and may not want it, but it is good to keep up with legal developments elsewhere.

Thank you, Thinking Anglicans.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Me thinks the Cardinal of Westminster (on direct orders from papa) is undoing everything that has been achieved from the Reform Bill onwards.

Tom Roberts
Guest
Tom Roberts

I think the point at issue, which has been lost in the heat of the argument is that government money should not be made available to agencies which seek to discriminate. The government cannot validate discrimination by an agency against the wishes of parliament. Prejudice cannot be enforced with public money. I can understand the arguments over the nature of moral objections but the law must protect the weak in society as well as the strong. Many brave people have struggled at huge personal cost to remove discrimination and ensure protection for minorities. Jesus was on the side of the… Read more »

laurence
Guest
laurence

‘Nonetheless, it does look as if the Govt is brusquely pushing people to act against their conscience, in an unwise and unnecessary precipitation. The implication seems to be that morality reduces simply to social welfare, on which the Govt is the expert. The euthanasia and eugenics programs of Nazism were forced on people in the same way, and we should constantly bear in mind the lessons of that episode.’ I can never forget the complicity of Pius X11 and the RC denomination in this. Pius failed the Jewish people in particular ignoring their please, and please on their behalf. But… Read more »

laurence
Guest
laurence

Yes, Tom Roberts and I keep waiting for primates to converge on Darfur, saying, “You’ll have to kill us first.” Imagine the effect on that conflict if they did –or even one or two. Perthaps Rowan and Cormac …. At least do something useful. Something for the plight of the world, for God’s sake …..

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

NTW’s ‘rant’:
Two questions:
Is this supposed to be an open-minded blog or a closed-minded one, where readers’ minds are made up for them?
Where is your list of publications that enables you to be so dismissive of an international NT scholar?

laurence
Guest
laurence

I am as enamoured of ‘international scholars’ as Jesus seems to have been.

Jesus set a peasant child in their midst.

David Huff
Guest
David Huff

Jim Naughton, “…But being called arrogant by N. T. Wright,…”

Pfffft! Sorry, that was the sound of me spitting my coffee all over my keyboard this morning in a fit of uncontrollable laughter! 😀 Good for you, Jim !

And Dr. Shell’s comment about being “dismissive” of +Wright is a red herring. So what if he’s a well-known, international NT scholar ? To assume that this makes him a public policy expert as well is an “honor by association” fallacy.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“an international NT scholar”

An unintentional funny? (I have no doubt that, among all international scholars, NT Wright is THE expert on NT Wright! ;-D)

[As far as scholars of the Christian Scriptures go, I’d just as soon have one who does NOT read their 20th century Ick Factor prejudices *into* the texts.]

Craig Nelson
Guest

The RC and Anglican churches are floating very dangerously towards attacking a political party en bloc because of a (no doubt) legitimate idsagreement – after all there is an obligation on the Government to listen and consider, but not to follow slavishly the diktat of a few ecclesiarchs. Democratic governance has its own rythm, its own legitimacy, its own methods and its own checks and balances. Its a paradoxical system that often leaves you enraged, but as Winston Churchill said – Its the worst possible system, apart from all of the others…. In a recent debate at Synod one member… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

Laurence, Andrew Sullivan agrees with you, more or less, about the RC Church, but agrees with me, more or less, about the Government’s intrusion on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. “This dehumanization of gay people is a terrible stain on the Church, but that should be of no business of the government… If I were a member of parliament, I would vote against this bill.” However I would disagree with you both about the bona fides of the conscientious scruples of Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor — at least I can easily imagine that many Catholics would genuinely have such scruples.… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

The more I consider this flurry, the more I feel that liberal Anglicans should be pushing parliamentarians to vote against the present legislation. First, it is a question of freedom of conscience, something essential to the Christian faith. Second, if you gleefully rejoice to see the moral authority of your church discredited, you are cutting off the branch you sit on. The argument for a more comprehensive sexual and matrimonial ethics must be won within the church, not by being imposed by the state from outside.

laurence
Guest
laurence

The Freedom to oppress, marginalise and disadvantage a minority of the population, whatever kind of freedom it is, it most certainly is not ‘freedom of conscience’.

This foray of Roman Catholic leaders into the arena of child protection and public policy, is ill-advised, given this denomination’s appalling record of the physical and sexual abuse of children in Ireland, the UK and US down many decades, and its condoning by RC bishops in these countries, including the then biship of Arundel & Brighton –one Cormac Murphy O’Connor.

laurence
Guest
laurence

“This dehumanization of gay people is a terrible stain on the Church, but that should be of no business of the government…’ Andrew Sullivan

Joseph, Andrew is wrong.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Nonsense, Joseph I do not believe that racists and homophobes should have the right to impose their ‘conscience’ and its products upon citizens The moral authority of the church has been discredited by its homophobia, and it has shown itself to be entirely bereft of morality. The morte it is defeated and marginalised, the better – I think that society would now be far better without its malign influence. The Church must change, and tickling its bigoted tummy is not the way to do it. A good kicking is more appropriate. This argument is not about what goes on inside… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi JCF-
How come the so-called 20th century ick factor prejudices are also found in documents of the 3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21 centuries? A clear case of forgery.

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

“I can never forget the complicity of Pius X11 and the RC denomination in this.”

Hmm, I don’t know if the RCC were complicit in the euthanasia and eugenics programs of the Hitler regime, but if they were, would that not be an argument for extra vigilance against State usurpations in the field of moral authority — as R Williams argues?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

It most certainly is, dear Christopher!

;=)

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Fr Joseph O’Leary wrote: “These scruples may be retrograde, but they are not necessarily mere bigotry.”

Nor are they “innocent”. But even when “innocent” they are guilty, because they haven’t taken responsibility for being lied to.

“The argument for a more comprehensive sexual and matrimonial ethics must be won within the church, not by being imposed by the state from outside.”

Don’t forget your Hierarchy. And don’t blame others. It is you who should have done this. It is your responsibility. The State comes in because you haven’t acted.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“How come the so-called 20th century ick factor prejudices are also found in documents of the 3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21 centuries? A clear case of forgery.”

A more serious answer this time:

The documents you claim are all Neo Platonist.

Apart from the post 11th century changes including late modern “translations”, and the Byzantine redaction of (present) Romans (the eldes manuscript the p46 is not used), the holy scriptures of the Bible (always in the plural) were written b e f o r e the 3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21 centuries.

Simple as that.

laurence
Guest
laurence

Joseph they were complicit in the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Rome, and the deportations of the Jewish people from various European cities and towns to the death camps, in among other countries wonderful RC Poland, alas. No it means bishops need to be more fighting for justice and protecting all minorites. Just as centuries of ‘Christian’ anti-semiticsim, including the Easterpogroms, paved the way for the Nazi Holocaust, so the writing, pronouncemnets and actions of high profile church leaders like Ratzinger, Williams and Murphy-O’Connor poison life for lgbt people in our societies. The homophobic bullying in our schools is… Read more »

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

There’s a fair bit of ‘ick’ factor about heterosexual sex (except for procreative purposes, where it’s fine because you pay for your pleasure),, right through to the controversial decisions about artificial birth control in the middle of the last century. ‘Recreational sex’ within marriage was ‘icky’ for Augustine and many others…. What’s sauce for the goose….

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

“pronouncemnets and actions of high profile church leaders like Ratzinger, Williams and Murphy-O’Connor poison life for lgbt people in our societies.”

Ratzinger has said that homosexual orientation is objectively disordered, homosexual acts always gravely immoral, civil unions and gay adoption are legislation of evil.

Williams has said the opposite of all this.

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Goran-
Wow, it seems that everything claiming to be a Christian writing before 1900 was actually neoplatonist.
This is undoubtedly the majority scholarly view.
???
I was talking about commentaries, homilies etc not bible texts.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Everything in which you find your claims represented, Christopher.

That is few outside Academia ;=)

But yes, I most certainly include commentaries and (some) homilies, along with glosses, aditions and falsifications.