The Guardian has published a precis of the new Preface to Permanent, Faithful, Stable in Wednesday’s newspaper in the Comment section. You can read it online here: Under Rowan Williams, the church has failed gay people.
Lizzy Davies has written a news story to accompany this, which is also in Wednesday’s newspaper on page 2: Anglican stance on same-sex marriage ‘morally contemptible’, says gay cleric.
She concludes her article thus:
…Condemning the leadership of the Church of England for apparently prioritising the unity of the worldwide Anglican communion over gay rights, John adds: “This policy may be institutionally expedient, but it is morally contemptible. Worst of all, by appeasing their persecutors it betrays the truly heroic gay Christians of Africa who stand up for justice and truth at risk of their lives. For the mission of the Church of England the present policy is a disaster.”
In the postscript, John denounces the church for “sanctioning” liberal wings of the communion while capitulating to vehemently homophobic churches. “This is morality turned upside down; and the inevitable result is that people of goodwill with a concern for justice and truth turn away from the Church in disgust,” he writes.
“Almost as long as it has existed, the Church has been directly responsible for evils and injustices committed against gay people, and it is responsible for them still. Appalling atrocities have been perpetrated on homosexuals by the Church, or in the name of the Church, or as in Nazi Germany, with the tacit connivance of the Church. Yet there is still not a glimmer of repentance; rather the opposite – an arrogant restatement of ‘traditional’ exclusion and contempt.”
A Church of England spokesman said: “These are very strong personal opinions that Jeffrey John has expounded before.” The Church was far more inclusive than they made it seem, as testified to by the fact that John, an openly gay man, occupied a senior position in it, he added.