Thinking Anglicans

Responses to General Synod debate on LLF

Updated Thursday

Together has issued this Statement following LLF debate at July 2024 General Synod.

The Church of England Evangelical Council has published this: CEEC expresses deep disappointment on ‘milestone day’ as Synod approves bishops’ Living in Love and Faith proposals.

Update 11 July

The Alliance has published this Statement from the Alliance after July 2024 General Synod

Other statements will be linked when they are published.

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Peter
Peter
15 days ago

It would have needed only two members of the House of Laity to vote against the motion for it to fail to gain a majority.

By such a margin, the Church of England is to be divided into two.

How can you not lament at such a travesty of process and leadership.

In truth, a group of radicals will stop at nothing to secure their objectives. When they have succeeded, they will inherit a wasteland of empty buildings.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

I think the archbishops should preach that all members of Synod should remain celibate until LLF is resolved so that all delegates fully appreciate the burden being laid upon gay, lesbian, bi and queer Christians.

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Reply to  Kate Keates
14 days ago

Amen and amen.

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

I mean, the Synod is to be divided in two, perhaps.

Maybe those who vote for its members on diocesan synods, who are invested in the process.

The Church of England as a whole? I wouldn’t be so sure yet.

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

Yes it would have taken two votes but that isn’t what happened and so there was a majority as required.That is the nature of voting. It was close but one count was higher than the other. As for your statement that the Church of England is to be divided in two, what is it that you mean? I think that it might already be said that there is division and, depending on the subject, the splits might be more than in two directions. But what is it that we will see as a result of this vote? Let us see… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Graham Watts
14 days ago

I see no one being forced to do anything that goes against their conscience.”

Thank you, Graham. That is exactly the point.

Simon W
Simon W
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

Sorry to read that you are feeling like this, Peter. When I woke up I noticed that life was going on, the sky had not fallen in and Jesus is still Lord, whatever your perspective on some areas of Christian ethics. A wider embrace has been offered to people by a Synod’s decision and no minister is compelled to have to do anything they cannot in conscience agree to.

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
15 days ago

‘Deep disappointment,’ they say? I recently met a 18yo fresher who’d been taught that G-d wants perpetual, life-long celibacy and continence from him, and that his desire for intimacy and relationship was ‘not G-d’s best,’ the understatement meaning that it would doom him if not repented of. That’s deep disappointment for you, not mere disagreement on a point of doctrine that does not impinge on your life in the slightest, let alone require you not only to sacrifice what you want most but to learnt to see what you desire as evil else you cannot earnestly repent of it. That… Read more »

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
15 days ago

Rabbi Zev Farber once suggested the following thought experiment to his orthodox colleagues before they put pen to paper on the matter: “If, for some reason, it became clear that the Torah forbade you to ever get married or to ever have any satisfying intimate relationship, what would you do?” My own reaction to this question is: although part of me hopes I would be able to follow the dictates of the Torah, I have strong doubts about the possibility of success, and I trust that my friends and colleagues would be supportive of me either way.’ But the CEEC’s… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
15 days ago

CEEC keeps speaking of “orthodoxy”. It is my understanding that what is “orthodox” in the CoE is determined by vote in General Synod.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
15 days ago

Sadly your ignorance of Anglicanism is shared by the bishops. Orthodoxy is the historic doctrine of the church.

You cannot change orthodoxy by vote

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

‘You cannot change orthodoxy by vote’. Actually we do in the CofE. We did it in order to ordain women and to allow remarriage of divorced people in church. We revised the theological and pastoral heart of the marriage service in 1980 without a vote at all as I recall.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  David Runcorn
14 days ago

Well yes. Why can orthodoxy not evolve? Has God given us minds and consciences for nothing? Does the Holy Spirit not open our consciences to issues? Should we still be stoning men who slept with men?

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Susannah Clark
14 days ago

Refusing to accept orthodoxy can evolve is essentially a claim that present orthodoxy is perfect which is manifestly untrue and non-Biblical. We have to, as you say, keep our consciences open.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  David Runcorn
14 days ago

The General Synod is expressly forbidden from introducing liturgy indicative of a departure from the doctrine of the Church. The marriage service is in the BCP with which Synod cannot meddle. Mr Runcorn is referring to an alternative service. If he is correct, as I suspect, the GS flouted the law and introduced an alternative marriage service which did depart from the doctrine of the Church. If so then it did just that. It departed from the doctrine. It did not change it and modern liturgies are in no way indicative of the doctrine of the Church. So, why the… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  T Pott
14 days ago

I think General Synod expressed its wishes. The underlying reality is that the wishes (conscience) of quite possibly a majority who affirm gay sexuality are – to use your words – being ‘flouted’ and dominated against what at least half the Church of England actually believes (gay sex is not a sin) because doctrine is held hostage unless a 67% vote for change can be carried through. In a Church divided down the middle that may not happen, so we end up with ‘two consciences’ in the Church, one dominating the other. Hardly sustainable in a pastoral emergency. For that… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Susannah Clark
14 days ago

I like the phrase “a church with two consciences”. That’s positive and helpful language.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  T Pott
14 days ago

It will be interesting whether the decision faces a legal challenge because, if the challenge loses, the Alliance etc could no longer claim it was a change in doctrine. It’s very high stakes for conservatives.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  T Pott
13 days ago

The UK Government passed a law saying that Rwanda was safe. Why can’t Synod, in reliance of that precedent, say (as it has) that it’s proposals are not indicative of a change in doctrine?

Ian
Ian
Reply to  David Runcorn
14 days ago

First, may i say that I personally favour same sex marriage. I do struggle however, with changing doctrine by majority vote. If GS decided by majority vote that Jesus was not the Incarnate Son of God, would that constitute the new orthodoxy in the C of E?

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Ian
14 days ago

I think we need to differentiate between things which are in the Creed and secondary issues.

Gareth
Gareth
Reply to  Kate Keates
13 days ago

This I think is the crux issue behind a lot of the discussions. The disagreement that’s taking place is what is a primary issue and why? The creeds were drawn up to address specific matters of controversy raging in the church at that time. I’d be curious to know why do you think the creeds are the only source of orthodoxy? Particularly when the creeds themselves are derived from the truths we have in Scripture. Indeed the 39 Articles suggest that they are authoritative to Anglicans precisely because they are in agreement with the word of God. Emphasis mine below… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Gareth
13 days ago

I haven’t said that the Creeds are absolutely correct (nor that they aren’t – that’s a topic for another day). I have simply said that they are the basis of orthodoxy in terms of setting out core beliefs.

Gareth
Gareth
Reply to  Kate Keates
12 days ago

I’m asking why they should be the sole source of orthodoxy when the articles claim their authority comes from Scripture?

As far as I can tell the creeds were written to address specific matters of controversy in the church and aren’t intended to be the sole arbiter of orthodoxy.

There’s no reason why views on other matters cannot be deemed heterodox based on Scripture. That’s where I suspect the disagreement is.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Ian
13 days ago

I wonder what process would you replace it with for discerning the mind of the ‘church’ on matters of belief?

Ian
Ian
Reply to  David Runcorn
13 days ago

The Pope!

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
14 days ago

David,

We are, of course, using the word orthodoxy to mean two different things

Peter

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

Indeed we are. That is at the heart of this disagreement.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

Really? The CoE is a denomination that exists because of one monarch’s desire to end his marriage and because of it he upended the church’s orthodoxy on both divorce and papal supremacy. One royal decree can change orthodoxy, but the vote of scores of people cannot?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
14 days ago

That is the history of the reformation in England described with the analytical depth of a comic

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

Sometimes reducing a thing to its simplest is the best way to understand it.

Charles Clapham
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

Doctrinal statements – the Nicene creed, the Westminster Confession of faith, the documents of the Second Vatican Council, etc. – were all the result of votes. It’s fairly common practice in the history of the church, usually (then as now) accompanied by threats or actual schism, from those who disagree with the results. Compared with most examples in church history, the recent General Synod has been remarkably good tempered…which is progress of a sort… Would be interesting to know where the current insistence on a two thirds majority came from in the C of E, but I would hypothesize it… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Charles Clapham
Peter
Peter
Reply to  Charles Clapham
14 days ago

Votes by whom, Charles ? and within what ecclesiology ?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I suggest the Magisterium is not an example of doctrine by democracy.

Charles Clapham
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

Sorry, Peter, not sure my comments are controversial. The declaration of papal infallibility (Pastor aeternus) was itself voted on by the bishops at the First Vatican Council.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Charles Clapham
13 days ago

On this one, Peter, I’m with Charles. Pretty much everything that constitutes the teaching of the Magisterium in the Western churches – right down to the fundamental doctrine of the Trinity – is the outcome of some kind of vote by a group of people accepted as the governing authority of an ecclesial organisation. Of course, what that body actually is and who constitutes its membership varies very considerably over the centuries. But fundamentally Charles is right – each particular decision may have been highly controversial or not, but his claim about process is not. At least, it isn’t among… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Realist
13 days ago

Attentuating the issue down to the the meaning of the term “vote” really is a reductio ad absurdum.

Plenty of “votes” take place that are a constitutional, moral and ethical travesty – and not just in the Church of England.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

I couldn’t agree more with your second paragraph, Peter. But as to the rest, I stand by the counter that is offered in that the teaching of the Magesterium of the Church is not a corpus that is the result of anything other than processes of consensus forming and/or voting.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Charles Clapham
13 days ago

That is hardly an answer. General Synod is not a Council of Bishops.

Constititions really do matter, Charles. GS has acted beyond its constitutional powers.

Only totalitarians believe that a simple majority vote gives them omnipotence

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

“That is hardly an answer. General Synod is not a Council of Bishops.”

Because we, in the 21st Century, have determined that Bishops are not the holders of all theological knowledge, perhaps? And that, indeed, “lesser” persons may have insight into the mind of God?

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Charles Clapham
14 days ago

The harm done to gay people (as MP Chris Bryant, for example, knows all too well) is so grievous, that a point comes when it is not tenable for a minority who call gay sex sin to ‘lock’ any change (unjust, undemocratic) and the two thirds rule might have to be circumvented. As you say, Charles, church teaching has been changed before – on women’s ministry for example. And at the same time, the present proposals passed in Synod this week allow for the protection of consciences. What it does not advocate is one group’s view of sex being imposed… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Charles Clapham
14 days ago


The current legislation is the Synodical Government Measure 1969: Article 8 (1C) (inserted by the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 1978:

8 (1C) A motion for the final approval of a Measure providing for permanent changes in any such Service or in the Ordinal shall not be deemed to be carried unless it receives the assent of a majority in each House of the General Synod of not less than two-thirds of those present and voting.

Charles Clapham
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
14 days ago

Thank you Rowland! That’s helpful. Prior to this, I think I’m right in suggesting that documents of the Second Vatican Council also required a two thirds majority, which presumably influenced the Anglican measure (?). Would be interesting to chase this back further if possible.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
13 days ago

That section seems to me to refer to a Measure proposing a permanent change to services of Baptism or Holy Communion.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  T Pott
13 days ago

It certainly applies to “a Measure providing for permanent changes in any such Service [Baptism or Holy Communion] or in the Ordinal”. I’m not a canon lawyer and am happy to leave to others better qualified the question of how far “or in the Ordinal” is to be interpreted.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
13 days ago

The Ordinal refers to services for the ordination or consecration of deacons, priests and bishops. Also this is referring to a Measure for a permanent change, not a time-limited change by canon.

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

Then hopefully you still recognise the authority of the bishop of Rome, Peter. That was orthodoxy for over 1000 years.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Nigel Jones
14 days ago

You misunderstand me – no doubt unintentionally.

I was pointing out that the significance of a vote depends on the context.

Mitch McLean
Mitch McLean
Reply to  Pat ONeill
14 days ago

I can’t see anywhere in the Bible where it says to believe whatever General Synod says.

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones
Reply to  Mitch McLean
14 days ago

No, but plenty of places where the Bible says that we will be divided into two groups at the Judgment according to our deeds.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Mitch McLean
14 days ago

Well, that’s because General Synod, like the CofE and other denominations hadn’t yet been invented when the canon closed.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Pat ONeill
14 days ago

Orthodoxy is surely determined by what is in the historic creeds. There is nothing in the creeds regarding same sex marriage, or indeed any other kind of human sexual behaviour. That is a matter of ethics, not doctrine. To elevate sexual mores to doctrinal status is in itself unorthodox.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Janet Fife
14 days ago

I believe when Jesus talked about marriage he was talking about fidelity. Of course he addressed his listeners in the social context they understood. Men and women. He didn’t reference same-sex marriage because it didn’t exist in his listeners lives and their social convention. It was still to come. Likewise, he didn’t mention computers, because they were still to come, and his listeners would not have understood him.

But fidelity: that was something they could all understand. That was what he was talking about.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Susannah Clark
14 days ago

Susannah, I appreciate the point you are making, but we need to be careful about historical accuracy. You say “same sex marriage did not exist in his listeners lives and their social convention”. But where is your evidence for such a certain statement? Homosexual people would have existed in those days, so what did they do and how would they have lived? We need to be curious rather than assume a blanket denial. And we need to be aware of modern scholarship rather than apply the biased assumptions of a few decades ago There actually is evidence of sex marriage… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Simon Dawson
14 days ago

Simon, I realise gay sex is natural and has always been around. Where we may differ is that I do not believe the religious in Judaism thought it was okay. Marriage in Jesus’s day among the people he was talking to was man/woman because that was the social and religious convention – and he was speaking to them on their terms. I’d re-iterate, what Jesus was addressing was covenant and fidelity. He spoke in terms his listeners took as convention, in the same way he told people contemporary farming parables and did not reference combine harvesters. You and I differ,… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
Reply to  Janet Fife
14 days ago

To be fair we don’t all agree on that.

The creeds were written in respect to the Trinity that was addressed at the council of Nicea. That doesn’t mean it is the sole criterion of what constitutes Christian orthodoxy.

It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t consider Scripture and what it teaches in respect to other matters.

It’s entirely valid to refer to the teaching of Christ and the apostles on this and other matters as being orthodox and innovations in this regard as being heterodox surely?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Gareth
13 days ago

I never said we shouldn’t consider the teachings of scripture on any matter. I said that matters not covered in the Creeds (plural, not just Nicene) are not matters of orthodoxy. They may be ethical, regarding church structure, the nature of ordination and ministry, etc – those are not about orthodoxy. That doesn’t necessarily make them unimportant, of course. It’s a category difference. Not incidentally, Jesus never taught about same-sex relationships. And what little teaching on the subject there is elsewhere in the NT is not as clear as some assume. There are valid reasons why we should allow for… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
Reply to  Janet Fife
13 days ago

I don’t want to get distracted with slavery. I think Wilberforce was orthodox in pushing back but I don’t think it progresses us on this topic. Evidently others aren’t of a mind with you in this regard and have stated why this isn’t adiaphora as they see it. There are plenty of sources one can look to from a traditionalist perspective in this regard. Simply stating that your view is that we agree to disagree does nothing to change the mind or conviction of those who believe otherwise. The question is is what is being proposed sufficient for ensuring the… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by Gareth
Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Gareth
13 days ago

Slavery is not a distraction – it’s an example of how the Church changed its mind on a practice accepted in scripture. The same is true of e.g. racial segregation, the status of women, and divorce. This did not and does not make proponents of these changes unorthodox. A lot of us in the Church see the acceptance of faithful same sex relationships as equivalent to these other issues the Church has moved on. No one is forcing those who disagree to bless any same sex relationship. You are free to follow your conscience as we want to be free… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
Reply to  Janet Fife
13 days ago

That’s not quite what I’m asking. If traditionalists aren’t persuaded by your argument that this is a matter indifferent, and do consider this an first order issue, and one by which they feel they will need to avoid false teaching, what should they do other than what they are doing? Bear in mind neither side is likely to change minds. Ultimately this isn’t about what you do or don’t find convincing, when there is another side who disagrees and isn’t budging. The question is what do we do given that one side evidently doesn’t agree that this is a matter… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Gareth
13 days ago

I used to believe as you do, and I changed my mind. Many traditionalists have changed their minds on this issue, and the voting demonstrates that minds are still being changed.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Janet Fife
13 days ago

Janet,

We must all know the time is past for rehearsing the same arguments.

The Alliance seek a generous spirited walking apart as good neighbours.

In the mercy of God, we may one day walk together again. That day is not known.

Surely Wisdom calls all of us to reach a settlement

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

The Alliance seeks to do what it wants with the resources of the whole church behind it despite rejecting the whole church’s authority.

I for one cannot accept the creation of a “new province” in my church that can behave how it will. We have provided too many cubby holes and opt outs already and all they have done is damage the church immeasurably by creating disunity.

The Alliance should have the courage to forge it’s own path away from the CofE if it feels compelled to do so and can’t accept the decisions of Synod.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
12 days ago

The Alliance is the Church of England. The decisions of Synod to which you refer are unlawful and unconstitutional.

Radicals are seeking to capture The Church of England. They will clearly have some success, though what they will secure will quickly become empty buildings.

Orthodox English Anglicanism within the Third Province will continue.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

“The Alliance is the Church of England.” I can’t decide if with that sentence you have fallen into Humpty-Dumpty Land or Orwellian Newspeak.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

Can you explain how the decisions of General Synod are unlawful and unconstitutional? It is a law-making body.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 days ago

It is, by Canon, subject to the Word of God.

It cannot lawfully or constitutionally depart from the clear teaching of the Bible

Last edited 11 days ago by Peter
Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

But where there are differences as to what the teaching of the Bible is? General Synod has the constitutional right to decide, as it did with e.g. women’s ordination and remarriage after divorce. Disagreeing with a GS decision does not make that decision unconstitutional.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 days ago

Forgive me, Janet, but you cannot be serious.

There really is a difference of view as to what the Bible says.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Peter
9 days ago

Yes, I think that’s what I said.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

I look forward to the General Synod bringing the Church of England into line with the clear teaching of the Bible by ending its practice of profiting from the lending of money at interest.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Janet Fife
14 days ago

Hear, hear.

Same sex marriage, even were it wrong, isn’t a big deal. Indeed, that’s probably the real point here. It’s about balancing the harm done to individuals (by denying their loving relationships) against what is, at worst, a pretty insignificant matter. I believe the Gospels show clearly that such tensions are to be resolved by minimising harm.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Pat ONeill
14 days ago

Pat O’Neil, I do not understand your comment, whether meant cynically or otherwise. Right belief is whatever Synod say it is sounds cynical. Yet there does seem to be a widespread misconception, being pushed by the Bishop of Oxford and others, that the General Synod has some kind of authority to change the doctrine of the Church. It does not. It can authorise services under canon B5 or B2 but in neither case does that alter the doctrine of the church in any matter. There is a story, I hope apocryphal, of reps from a small but ancient Middle Eastern… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by T Pott
Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  T Pott
14 days ago

Nothing cynical intended at all.

If GS approves a service that previously was unapproved on grounds of “doctrine,” haven’t they therefore altered said doctrine?

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Pat ONeill
14 days ago

Well, I think not. GS is forbidden from using authorised liturgies as a means to alter doctrine. So if they approve a service departing from doctrine then it departs, it does not change.
Or, if you think it does do, why do you think that? Why is that your understanding?

Susannah Clark
Reply to  T Pott
14 days ago

The thing is: it’s not all about rules. It’s about Spirit as well. People are being vilified for their precious and intimate gay love. Many people’s consciences tell them ‘This is wrong.’ If enough people think that, then maybe the doctrine needs to be amended – to focus on the principles of fidelity in marriage, not on gender. And maybe that amendment should not be blocked by a minority. Synod has approved (in all houses) the proposals to proceed with these services (which incidentally can bring great blessing), allowing them and also allowing those who don’t want to, not to… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  T Pott
13 days ago

I think we have here what a lawyer would call “a distinction without a difference.” Please elucidate on how a “departure” differs from a “change”.

If I am following a route suggested by my GPS and I decide to make a left turn as opposed to a right, have I “departed” from that route or “changed” it?

Perhaps what is necessary in this instance is what my GPS calls “recalculating”.

Last edited 13 days ago by Pat ONeill
T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Pat ONeill
13 days ago

If a Shakespearian actor says “To be or to do, that is the question” he has departed from the script. The script itself is unchanged. If a vicar preaches in a sermon that St Mary was not a virgin at the time of Christ’s birth then that is a deparure from the doctrine of the church. He has said something contrary to the doctine of the Church. Nobody, I suppose, will say that the vicar’s statement constitutes a change to the doctrine of the Church. A vicar might introduce a local variation in a particular service and it might run… Read more »

Too old to genuflect
Too old to genuflect
Reply to  Pat ONeill
12 days ago

Claiming to have a privileged certainty of what is ‘orthodox’…the right opinion… is arrogance of a monumental kind.

Last edited 12 days ago by Too old to genuflect
Kate Keates
Kate Keates
14 days ago

So let’s get this straight. Those of us who want marriage equality and an end to teaching we see as tantamount to conversion therapy (and which in some churches actually has been conversion therapy) got a fraction of what we sincerely believe to be right but continue to try to work alongside the rest of the church in amity; those who want to continue to demand celibacy from LGBT Christians without, in 99% of cases, being willing to share in that burden of celibacy themselves in a spirit of brotherhood/sisterhood, have got special treatment but still don’t see it as… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Kate Keates
14 days ago

It was just the same over women’s ordination…

Peter
Peter
14 days ago

The attempts to steam roller the Church of England into a simple majority flatland is wholly unconvincing.

Twelve bishops voted against the motion. The Church of England is an episcopal church. Bishops exercise authority by law – not as servants of General Synod.

Those twelve can and will continue to exercise their episcopal authority as they judge to be appropriate.

It is spurious nonsense to assert that everybody needs to just accept the vote and deal with it.

Chaos is what happens next – for everybody.

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

Are you making a case for chaos being a bad thing?  Synonyms for “chaos” are creativity, dynamism, spontaneity, vitality, innovation, fertility, transformation, flux, energy, and adventure – all seem exciting.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Graham Watts
14 days ago

You are clearly amusing yourself. I suggest you take matters more seriously

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

Chaos only happens if you or people who think the way you do choose to cause it. It is not an inevitable consequence it is a choice you make. At least have the integrity to own it.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
14 days ago

That is demonstrably nonsense. The orthodox bishops will, as they are entitled to do, act in accordance with historic doctrine.

The radicals will cause chaos as they refuse to act in obedience to their orthodox bishops.

Like I said, chaos for everybody

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

So, when the “orthodox” follow their conscience, everything’s OK? But when the “radicals” follow theirs, chaos ensues?

BTW, in their time, much of what Jesus, Paul, and the other founders of the church taught was “radical”.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
13 days ago

You make an interesting point. The orthodox have a high view of conscience.

However, conscience does not supersede the Word of God.

If you invent your own version of marriage, your conscience will become a snare and not a guide

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

What do you suggest instead given that suppressing same sex relationships is no longer acceptable to the majority?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate Keates
13 days ago

We need to tell each other the truth.

The issue is not sexual activity. We are all sinners in that regard. Every single one of us.

The issue is “Did God really say”.

That is the first and worst lie ever told.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

“The issue is “Did God really say”.”

Exactly. And since we have no direct experience of God saying anything (all the things we have that purport to be God’s words were transmitted through human minds and human hands and thus subject to human error), I don’t think we can definitively pronounce “God said” on this or any other issue.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
13 days ago

If your faith is blind to revelation, it is a faith of your own invention

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Pat ONeill
13 days ago

This is the issue behind the issue really, isn’t it?

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones
Reply to  Susannah Clark
12 days ago

“This is the issue behind the issue really, isn’t it?”
Yes, it is.

I recall a disagreement with Peter some while ago which concluded with his declaration that my not perceiving what he confidently knew to be the revealed truth was due to my spiritual malaise.

He’s in good company though. Phil 3.15 always makes me laugh: “If on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” Actually, dear Paul, I might say the same!

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Nigel Jones
12 days ago

Hi Nigel, what I was meaning about ‘the issue behind the issue’ is that there is a greater issue behind this whole sexuality debate, and that is how we read, interpret, and respond to the Bible, and is meant when we refer to the Word of God. How literally should the Bible be read? Is it (as it says) ‘perfect’ and does that make it infallible? Or was it written by fallible people, doing their best to try to make sense of encounters with God, but expressing it in the context of their times, their culture, their knowledge (or not)… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Susannah Clark
12 days ago

“And is revelation over? Or does revelation continue, does the Holy Spirit continue to speak to our hearts and minds and consciences?” I have asked this question many times on TA. My personal response is “no”. The Spirit reveals truth as we become mature enough (as a whole of humanity) to accept it. This was true 165 years ago with Darwin and evolution, it was true 140 years ago when Freud’s work in psychoanalysis freed us from the belief that “madness” was equivalent to demonic possession, and it is true today as modern psychology and medical knowledge show us that… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Pat ONeill
12 days ago

Exactly Pat. Thank you. And all the while, opening our hearts to the Love of God, the calling to love others, and follow the Way of Jesus in devoting our lives to God and to the compassionate needs of others. When we believe, Jesus is reported to have said, “streams of living water will flow out from within you” – by which, we’re told, he meant the Spirit of God. God is love, and God’s longing is for us to grow and open ourselves, more and more, to the flow of God’s compassionate love.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

It’s only a lie if you are questioning something of which you are certain but want to convince others otherwise. In the case of genuine uncertainty the question is entirely legitimate. I realise hurling “did God really say” at any challenge to conservative views is the new favourite theobro rhetorical tactic but it’s already tired and wholly unimpressive.

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

Can you clarify why you say that we are all sinners when it comes to sexual activity? Intrigued.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Nigel Jones
12 days ago

All of us think or behave in ways which fall short of God’s purposes for us in regard to our sexuality.

My point is there is no “hierarchy” in regard to sexual sin. Every single person who attended Synod on Monday stands on exactly the same ground. They are not sexually pure, nor will they be at any point during their lives before the New Creation.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

So masturbation is as big a sin as incest? Really?

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

Sometimes the correct answer to “Did God really say…?” is “No, he didn’t: we just thought he did. We were wrong.” Or does being “orthodox” mean never admitting we can be wrong?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Nigel Jones
11 days ago

For instance, did God really say that the Israelites were to slaughter the entire Canaanite population, including children and babies? And if he did, how can we say that God does not change, since in Matthew Jesus clearly tells us to love our enemies, not to slaughter them.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
11 days ago

Yes, and is also reported to have said ‘Let the little children come to me.’

I don’t think Jesus – the Living God – ever advocated ethnic cleansing.

But it is quite possible the authors on the invading victors’ side might have claimed God told them to slaughter everyone, mandating their actions. They might even have believed God was on their side and wanted them to do it.

But the text says ‘The Lord commanded.’

It’s pretty scary – that use of religion to claim mandate – when you look at world events today.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
14 days ago

I’m afraid I’m a bit confused about what is “orthodoxy” in the Church of England. Is it the Latin Mass and papal supremacy of Henry VII? Is it the Latin Mass and kingly supremacy of Henry VIII (accompanied by the executions of those refusing to endorse kingly supremacy)? Is it the English language services and Protestant theology of Edward VI? Is it the Latin Mass and papacy supremacy of Mary I (accompanied by the execution of those refusing to endorse papal supremacy)? Is it the attempted compromise of Elizabeth I with English services and kingly supremacy but a great nod… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  dr.primrose
14 days ago

In the present debate the word ‘Orthodox’ is a self descriptor claimed by conservative evangelicals against those they disagree with. Here is a helpful response to that claim by an ‘inclusive’ evangelical theologian – Paul Roberts. https://www.inclusiveevangelicals.com/post/on-the-use-and-abuse-of-the-term-orthodox.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  dr.primrose
14 days ago

“Marriage is the union of one man and one woman” is idiosyncratic ?

You overstate your case

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  dr.primrose
14 days ago

Beautifully revealing the absurdity in the use of the term “orthodox/orthodoxy” in current CofE disputes. Thank you.

Geoff M.
Geoff M.
Reply to  dr.primrose
13 days ago

And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my Dying Day, Sir!

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  dr.primrose
13 days ago

We are talking about orthodoxy in marriage, which is still the C of E’s declared although unsustainable position, so hardly idiosyncratic.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
13 days ago

The Church of England could accommodate two positions. There is already a de facto reality to that effect in terms of what people believe. So instead of having one dominant doctrine, why not just add another, and be honest about what the Church of England actually believes?

And then we get on with the rest of parish life, instead of this sickening attrition?

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
13 days ago

If we are talking about orthodoxy or doctrine in relation to marriage, then this article from about 7 years back may be relevant.

https://modernchurch.org.uk/prof-diarmaid-macculloch-living-in-love-and-faith

Too old to genuflect
Too old to genuflect
Reply to  dr.primrose
11 days ago

I fear your last option is right, sadly.
The pharisees had nothing on this tragic collection of hissy fits.

Last edited 11 days ago by Too old to genuflect
Peter
Peter
14 days ago

A depressing feature of much comment on this matter is the level of ignorance with regard to episcopal authority. Bishops are not subordinates of General Synod. The bishops hold and exercise authority through law. General Synod may – within certain limits – introduce new law. That law may conflict with existing canons. It will then be Judges – not votes – that decide what happens. (Ecclesiastical Judges in conference with – bishops) Commentators will, I am sure, breezily insist that Judges will not give the orthodox the time of day. In the mercy of God, the Judiciary in this Country… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Peter
Realist
Realist
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

On the question of authority, I’m afraid you’re partially right and partially wrong, Peter. Just now, I’m afraid I haven’t time to offer a thorough exposition of why – the nature of authority in the C of E is one of my specialist research areas – but if I can I will later on. In a nutshell, where you’re wrong (or at least misguided) is on how authority functions in practice – particularly on how it filters down from Episcopal level to parochial level – things like the nature of obedience ‘in all things lawful’ and autonomy of parochial clergy… Read more »

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  Realist
13 days ago

Surely, one of the issues is whether Bishops are acting lawfully. I think not, but that can only be tested in the courts. If the Bishops think they can offer prayers for same sex couples and still uphold holy matrimony then this differentiation becomes entirely legalistic which cannot be sustained in practice. The point is at what stage the decisive moment has been reached when same sex marriage becomes inevitable. The Alliance think that moment was reached on Monday and I agree.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
13 days ago

You could be right. If that’s what the Church of England decides it wants it. That happens through bishops and General Synod. A bit of frankness and honesty might be worth expressing here. Many people who want gay couples to have their relationships blessed in standalone services also want gay marriage in the Church of England. Blessings are not enough. Trying to be honest, some people are using LLF to delay things they don’t want to happen, and some hope for change in the form of a ‘slippery slope’ approach, which could also be portrayed as a slow process of… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Realist
13 days ago

Bishops exercise authority by law and are not the subordinates of General Synod.

I am happy to hear an expert view, but on that fundamental point even the laity (of whom I am one) know the difference between right and wrong.

Simon Eyre
Simon Eyre
13 days ago

Thank you again to everyone for their comments. Can I say there were 3 things that did become clear to me through this last Synod Bishop Martyn did make it clear that although the corporate view of the House of Bishops is that the Doctrine of the Church of England should not be changed there are some Bishops who now would want this. The experimental period is not in reality experimental. There is in practice no way that stand alone services would or could reasonably be withdrawn at the end of the 3 years experimental periodI had a discussion over… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Simon Eyre
13 days ago

Thank you for your calm and reasonable posts, Simon. I’m not sure ‘opt in’ and ‘opt out’ are helpful terms. Maybe it would be more balanced to simply say there are two options: 1.A priest/minister is allowed to bless gay couples in a standalone service. 2.A priest/minister is allowed to decline blessing gay couples in a standalone service. And either is permissible. Then let the PCCs of each parish initiate an exploration of what people on the electoral roll actually want. Decision by majority, with any services flagged up and notified to all, so people don’t have to attend. In… Read more »

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  Susannah Clark
13 days ago

As we know with the ordination process of women priests many years later, that is not the end of the matter. Only ‘partitioning’ as you put it will do this. Otherwise the experience in Scotland should serve as a warning – extinction within a generation.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
13 days ago

I doubt very much the fall in church attendance is primarily about sex, Adrian. We can live and let live on sex, because in the Church of England we just have different rules. The key challenge is not can we all agree about sex, but can we love each other enough to co-exist.

We can if we have the will and the love. We just respect each other’s right of conscience and get on with our own parish life.

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Susannah Clark
13 days ago

Susannah, I was wondering how frequently this consultation and vote would occur? A one time only process and the decision to stand in perpetuity, or on a three yearly frequency perhaps? Would it be similar to those PCCs who vote for the resolutions that reject the ministry of women clergy (not that I know what that process is)

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Graham Watts
13 days ago

Good question, Graham. I don’t know. And it’s all speculative anyway. Since mentioning the idea of each church deciding how they want to follow conscience, several priests have suggested to me that actually the ‘conscience’ decision should be one taken by each individual priest, not the lay members of a church.

Simon Eyre
Simon Eyre
Reply to  Susannah Clark
10 days ago

I think Susannah that if an incumbent decided to go ahead with blessings or services without the agreement of his PCC (or vote of the Church membership) he would find himself in huge difficulty. Likewise if the PCC (or church membership) wished services to take place and incumbent firmly said no again there would be conflict. I am afraid these kind of discussions will need to be had throughout the Church of England at parish level in the months ahead and there will be the possibility of division in all but the most committed Alliance and Inclusive churches, my own… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Simon Eyre
10 days ago

Yes, I agree. There’s a lot to be worked through and worked out. It is a shortfall of the decision taken at Synod that most of the accompanying Pastoral Guidelines have not yet been worked out.

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
13 days ago

I have this simple question and I would appreciate a response. If you believe that women can’t or shouldn’t be a bishop then this is quite fundamental because a female diocesan bishop affects every parish in her diocese. But the blessing of same sex relationships isn’t like that. Noone suggests that priests should be forced to bless same sex relationships or parishes should accept them if they don’t agree. There are are already huge liturgical difference between different parishes why is it just the Church’s attitude to same sex relationships that likely to split the church when even more fundamental… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Hawkins
13 days ago

The Alliance will have a range of views on the role of women. None of their leaders would say they cannot be in communion with those who differ on the issue.

A historic parallel might be baptismal policy (let’s not all charge down that particular rabbit hole !)

The biblical definition of marriage is an entirely different category or issue.

Last edited 13 days ago by Peter
Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

Please cite for me (chapter and verse, if you please) the “biblical definition of marriage”.

In my mind, it ranges from Abraham and Sarah, with Abraham having a little “side piece” with Hagar (with the Lord’s blessing), to Solomon’s harem, to Joseph and Mary (where Mary is described as his “betrothed,” not his wife).

And the example in the Garden of Eden doesn’t count–where does it say Adam and Eve are married (and who performed the service, anyway)?

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

If one must charge down a rabbit hole, baptism seems a more essential one than same-sex relationships. Jesus said whoever believes and is baptised shall be saved, He did not mention sex.

Perhaps some (not all) have been looking for a rabbit hole and have chosen this one.

Last edited 11 days ago by T Pott
Peter
Peter
Reply to  T Pott
11 days ago

We all believe in the sacrament of baptism.

The distinction is “when” not “why”

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

Well there’s a wee bit more than that. Some people believe that you are ‘born again’ and a Christian when you are baptised as a baby. Others regard them as ‘nominal’ Christians, but not actually ‘saved’ because they haven’t been ‘born again’. They believe ‘new birth’ happens when they come to faith in Jesus Christ. There are millions of people in this country who were baptised as babies, who are regarded as ‘not real Christians’ by some parts of the Church. In many ways, that IS a salvation issue, though personally I think only God knows for sure. But the… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

The Church of England doctrine is that baptised infants dying without committing actual sin are undoubtedly saved. The practice of discouraging baptism of the children of the less committed is therefore wrong and the pushing of the Common Worship baptism as if it was authoritative is abusing a liturgical alternative service as if it represents a change to the doctrine of the Church. Much graver than sex.

Last edited 11 days ago by T Pott
Susannah Clark
Reply to  T Pott
10 days ago

I don’t think any children should be refused baptism. Jesus said ‘Let the little children come to me.’ I believe I was a Christian from the day I was baptised, a few months old. I came to know Jesus as God and Saviour in a more personal faith only at the age of 26. Dick Lucas explained Infant Baptism to me. We talked for an hour in his study. He opened the scriptures, and pointed out that when the ‘people of God’ passed through the Red Sea (a clear symbol or precursor of baptism) the whole nation went through: the… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Susannah Clark
10 days ago

The doctrine of the C of E does not require parents to make any statement about their faith, if any. There are no question to parents in the BCP Baptism Service. The CW one is different and there are many who pretend that interrogating parents is an essential part of baptism. They act as if the CW service represents a change to the doctrine of the Church. In fact, it is formally neither a change to, nor a departure from, the doctrine. It is simply an alternative which is suitable for those parents who wish to make commitments. For everyone… Read more »

Paul
Paul
Reply to  David Hawkins
13 days ago

Hi David, I assume this is an honest question, so I will try and give you an honest response. I apologise in advance that some people will find this offensive – I’m not trying to be offensive, I’m just aiming to be honest. My biggest goal is to watch those I love stand before Jesus on judgement day and hear him say to them, “Well done good and faithful servants, come and share the joy of your master.” My biggest fear is to hear Jesus say to them, “Away from me. I never knew you.” I appreciate that you may… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Paul
13 days ago

Paul. No one here is advocating sexual immorality. No one is teaching sexual immorality is ‘OK’. We are talking about faithful, committed love. What is actually dangerous about that?

Paul
Paul
Reply to  David Runcorn
12 days ago

Hi David,

I know you aren’t advocating promiscuity; but I do think that the semantic range of porneia covers more than promiscuity.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Paul
11 days ago

 By citing all those texts within what you call a ‘semantic range’ you are using the phrase  ‘sexual immorality’ (porneia) to refer equally to adultery, prostitution, idolatry, promiscuous and abusive sexual behaviour – and expressions of committed, long term faithful, loving relationships that are not found expressed within Christian marriage (not for lack of willingness or longing, but because the church excludes them). 
Can you really not see the problem, the lack of any proportion, or just the sheer offensiveness in that? 

Paul
Paul
Reply to  David Runcorn
11 days ago

Genuine question – do you think that the apostle Paul would have regarded porneia as covering those things?

My goal is to think like him.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Paul
10 days ago

So, your goal in this, the 21st century, is to think like an itinerant preacher in the 1st century Mediterranean, who had no education in modern psychology, science, or anthropology?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
10 days ago

You have no grasp of the doctrine of Revelation, without which Christian faith is impossible

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Pat ONeill
10 days ago

Yes.

I regard the apostle Paul as commissioned by Jesus and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Paul
10 days ago

I do not understand your question Paul. And can I invite to respond to mine?

Paul
Paul
Reply to  David Runcorn
8 days ago

Apologies – I thought your question was rhetorical. If I call something “theft” then I could be accused of lumping together violent armed robbery, large scale embezzlement, petty shoplifting and movie piracy. Someone might be offended. However, simply calling them all “theft” does not mean they are all morally equivalent. I am not saying that every form of sexual immorality is morally equivalent to every other form. I am sorry that you don’t understand my question. Here is the same question in a longer form: Would a first century rabbinically trained Jew regard a committed, long term faithful same-sex relationship… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Paul
13 days ago

I think the problem is that not everyone defines sexual morality the same way. Once again, I note the number of times things we would today call immoral are not only condoned, but commanded, in the Bible: Abraham and Hagar, Lot and his daughters, Solomon’s many wives (shall I go on?)

Morality requires a cultural context.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Pat ONeill
12 days ago

Hi Pat,

Just to reassure you that I do believe that all three of those situations were immoral – and I also think that the way the narrative is written makes it clear the authors of Genesis and Kings think they are immoral. I would say that all three situations are not commanded, but condemned.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Paul
13 days ago

“Judge not lest ye by judged.”. That’s Jesus’s warning that judging others exposes us to judgement ourselves. Are you sufficiently certain that you are right that you want to take the risk?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate Keates
13 days ago

Nobody is placing their trust in Paul’s sense of certainty.

Paul and the rest of orthodox global Anglicanism are placing their trust in the Word of God

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones
Reply to  Paul
12 days ago

Although I totally disagree with you, Paul, this is an honest and clear post- thankyou. I think it highlights an underlying issue in the disagreement. To quote you, I’m not trying to be offensive, I’m just aiming to be honest. The problem is the trust you (and your wing of the church) are placing in the ancient set of texts in our Bibles. One can (and many people do) grow out of this, but it’s a process of years, of deconstructing your faith and putting it back together again. When you re-emerge, if you haven’t discarded religion entirely, you find… Read more »

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Nigel Jones
12 days ago

Thanks Nigel,

It does sound as though you and I have very different views of the Bible and are on quite different journeys. Personally, I find the Bible more precious, more trustworthy and less bizarre every year.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Paul
12 days ago

I hope I’m wrong here, but this sounds very close to saying “If you don’t share my interpretations and dogma, then Jesus will condemn you.” OK, its selective quoting of verses, but it does make Jesus seem like the ultimate debate stopper. What about ‘Whosoever comes to me, I will never reject’, or ‘ A smoking flax I will not extinguish?’ And, on the basis of tolerating. condoving or having the wrong view of sexual immorality, a good half of the OT greats won’t be in Heaven. And, very certainly, I find the growing tendency for the conservative ‘anti’s to… Read more »

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  David Hawkins
13 days ago

This is a matter of salvation. Jesus puts remarrying of divorcees into the same category as adultery, but also allows divorcees to marry as an act of compassion. This does not undermine Jesus’ teaching on marriage. The question arises whether a compassionate response to same sex couples is to allow them to marry, but this would involve changing both the biblical teaching on marriage and of what sin is, which becomes a matter of salvation.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
13 days ago

It’s lovely, of course, that certain commentators here proudly proclaim themselves “orthodox.” But I suspect the vast majority of commentators here consider themselves “orthodox.”

It reminds me of the scene from the 1960 film starring Kirk Douglas where one man says, “I’m Spartacus.” And another one man says, “I’m Spartacus.” And then another man says, “I’m Spartacus.” And then yet another man says, “I’m Spartacus.” And on. And on. And on.

Not terribly helpful.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  dr.primrose
13 days ago

You choose a curious illustration !

The film scene you describe is of a group of people choosing to stand and die together. It is a noble if sentimentalised moment in the film.

Orthodoxy for us is a contested word that divides us.

Fr Gustavo
13 days ago

It is interesting to note that some groups affirming their belonging to the “vast majority” of global Anglicans and over half of young people under 18, tend to forget that a majority in numbers does not equal orthodoxy and much less, righteousness. The Donatist’s view claimed a majority in the early church, and still that didn’t make them right — though, perhaps, helped them feel smug.

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Fr Gustavo
13 days ago

I feel very sad after watching Synod play out.Two defining issues needed to be dealt with 1) Safeguarding- result- a smart kick into the long grass- and in the teeth of survivors- dressed up as proceeding cautiously to get things right ie try and keep the lid on it chaps! 2) LLF – if a Martian or ET had been beamed into the chamber as an observer and then asked what Synod was all about they would probably have concluded that it was about sex , whatever that was. Prayers of blessing for same gender couples have edged slightly forward… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Susanna (no ‘h’)
11 days ago

It is hardly necessary to go to Mars. Nor, I gather, is it convenient.The reaction you ascribe to your hypothetical Martian is shared by many on Earth.

Last edited 11 days ago by T Pott
Fr Gustavo
Reply to  Fr Gustavo
12 days ago

Just to make things clear, instead of “some groups” read “Alliance et al.” Further, having been ecclesiastically raised in the Global South, I know for a fact that even if some members of the church over there may not be in agreement with their clergy and bishops, they would not dare not to toe the official line. Clergy and bishops have huge political, religious, social, and tribal weight. In fact, in Uganda — and I believe in some other provinces as well — bishops are elected by the house of bishops, and bishops deploy clergy at their whim. So, who… Read more »

Francis James
Francis James
13 days ago

Although the LLF same-sex blessing concept has caused massive outrage amongst the orthodox/hardliners, I wonder how much of a big deal it is outside that bubble. Those who might make use of it do not form a large proportion of the population, and none that I know would settle for a ‘second-class’ blessing rather than full marriage. Had the LLF vote failed by two votes, rather than passed, I am certain that the orthodox/hardliners would have delighted in telling the radicals/liberals to accept the vote & shut up. As it is they are in near meltdown over something that will… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Francis James
13 days ago

Francis,

Seriously ? A non-issue ??

Global orthodox Anglicanism has recognised The Alliance and the putative third Province.

Global orthodox Anglicanism has repudiated the historic provinces of the Church of England.

You and others need to rise to the level of events

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Francis James
12 days ago

Francis, Whilst I have some sympathy with the main thrust of your argument I need to correct some factual inaccuracies near the end of your comment. You wrote “I am minded of all the press hysteria that surrounded ending the ban on gays in the armed forces, in the case of the navy all led by people no longer serving at sea (or more commonly never having served). In reality it proved a non-issue.” Can I provide a factual correction please I was a member of the group that led the campaign to overturn the gay Armed Forces ban, a… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by Simon Dawson
Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Simon Dawson
12 days ago

Simon – I should have phrased things better. What I was criticising was the ignorant homophobic opposition (Daily Heil etc), rather than those campaigning for the end of the ban. In the navy’s case there was much irony in the fact that the press were seemingly unaware that the ban did not extend to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, who operated the tankers & stores ships without which the navy would soon run out of fuel, food, & ammunition, etc. Moreover the RFA also embarked RN helicopter squadrons, whose aircrew & maintainers had become well accustomed to operating in an environment… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Francis James
12 days ago

Francis, thanks for your response which I appreciated. As I said in my comment, I was sympathetic the main thrust of your analysis, it was simply the historical detail which concerned me. Having said that, your comments on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary were new to me and very interesting. So thank you for that. I have always been concerned about LGBTQ people being written out of history. It is bad enough when LGBTQ people are written out of the biblical narrative through dodgy translation and scholarship. But at least there is room for debate there when it all happened thousands… Read more »

Peter
Peter
13 days ago

Global Orthodox Anglicans stand with The Alliance and the Third Province. They repudiate the historic provinces of the Church of England.

See statement below:

https://www.thegsfa.org/news/pastoral-letter-following-the-church-of-englands-general-synod-july-5—9-2024

Last edited 13 days ago by Peter
David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

Did you read Phil Groves’ via media piece on Global Anglicans on TA 10th July?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
12 days ago

Yes.

The Alliance of orthodox English Anglicans condemns the harassment and mis treatment of people who experience same sex attraction.

They call on all christian leaders to honour the dignity of all people who are – without exception – the image bearers of the Living God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

And yet they will not disassociate themselves from those who do not honour the dignity of all.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

Groves is an expert commentator of the Anglican communion and provides clear evidence that global south anglicans hold much more varied views on this issue than Alliance and CEEC references suggest.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

It will be interesting to see what happens at the next Synod, when it realises it has been taken on a ride by Bishops after they cobble together some enlightened thinking around same sex couples. It certainly won’t be based on theology, but rather a cooked up version based on science and philosophy, no doubt with a theological gloss to it. The one thing I was pleasantly taken surprise by, is how deeply rooted Anglicans are theologically, more so than other denominations. But sadly all that has gone out the window. A great tradition began by William Tyndale is now… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
12 days ago

Would this be the tradition began by William Tyndale of mis-translating and distorting scripture – for example taking the Hebrew word specifically meaning “Holy Man” or “Holy Servant” and translating it to “Male Whore” (4th Kings Ch 23).

On such scholarly distortions are traditions founded.

Do you study scripture carefully and accurately, and ask what it means, and be ready to have your prejudices challenged? Or do you instead translate scripture in a distorted way so that it matches your pre-conceived views?

Enlightenment thinking, and science and philosophy, ask questions like that.

Tim Evans
Tim Evans
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
12 days ago

The tradition of the Church of England goes back well before Tyndale, as part of the western church at least as far as St Augustine of Canterbury and, some would say, before that via the churches that existed after the end of Roman occupation. And if, as we believe, it is ultimately God’s church not ours then it will persist even though grievously split. The catastrophising language which some are using is very unhelpful. In none of the congregations I have close contact with is this debate mentioned by anyone except the clergy.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Tim Evans
12 days ago

This debate hasn’t been mentioned by anyone in either of my congregations for ages. People have stopped paying attention to this absurd saga.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Tim Evans
11 days ago

Nor the Churches I am associated with. Yet extraordinary claims are being thrown around about the number of clergy and parishes which are supposedly convulsed by the Synod’s latest decisions and are heading for the “shadow Province”. Presumably the parishes under +Ebbsfleet are already in it de facto..And the parishes under +Fulham and the flying bishops???

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
12 days ago

“A great tradition began by William Tyndale is now lost.” Traditions change, Adrian, sometimes influenced by sense of justice, and alterations in the society round about the Church. In Tyndale’s day, and indeed all the way back to Augustine (to take Tim’s point) women were not allowed to be priests. Now they are. We’re not living in the 1530s when women were generally subordinated to their husbands, as part of biblical tradition… when belief in a literal Adam and Eve as first humans seemed a credible part of traditional truth… when the story of Noah’s Ark could be taught as… Read more »

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
12 days ago

There is nothing in this trail of comments which indicates anything other than a continued and embittered trench warfare – and a fair degree of petulance from The Alliance and others in their response. No “walking together” into a challenging and unknown future where all can feel welcome, with thoughtful reason and compromise. There is a worrying level of scare-mongering, a flawed connection between church decline and accepting LLF, and a weaponising of scripture. No one is being made to do anything they don’t want to. There is no change in doctrine. There is generous provision and compromise to work… Read more »

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
11 days ago

I completely agree with you. People glibly talk about ‘rock bottom’ but can this organisation go any lower and survive ?

Susannah Clark
12 days ago

People refer to the Global South (GFSA) as if most Anglican provinces were members. They are not. They tend to be from more countries that persecute LGBT people, where the Church framing gay people as sinners subverts their status. At present the only fully signed up Provinces (with national LGBT laws detailed) are: Bangladesh – illegal, up to life imprisonment Brazil – legal South Sudan – illegal, up to 10 years imprisonment Sudan – illegal, up to life imprisonment Chile – legal Congo – legal Uganda – illegal, up to life imprisonment, and death penalty in some cases Myanmar –… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
12 days ago

Thanks for that correction, Simon.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 days ago

There are about 70 countries where homosexuallyn is still illegal.

Of these countries about 40, over half of them, are ex British colonies, and the anti gay legislation was originally introduced by the UK colonial powers.

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