Anglican Samizdat

January 17, 2010

It’s just not like that in England

Filed under: Church of England,homosexuality — David Jenkins @ 12:01 am
Tags: ,

Maybe it’s got something to do with the weather in the UK: it’s usually grey. In keeping with avoiding black and white, in July 2008, Tom Wright criticised GAFCON in this way:

It is to say, rather, that the GAFCON proposals are not only not needed in England but are positively harmful and indeed offensive. This was more or less what I said on the radio last Thursday, where I distinguished carefully between the American and English situations. AS FAR AS ENGLAND IS CONCERNED, it is damaging, arrogant and irrelevant for GAFCON leaders to say, as they are now doing, ‘choose you this day whom you will serve’, with the implication that there are now only two parties in the church, the orthodox and the liberals, and that to refuse to sign up to GAFCON is to decide for the liberals. Things are just not like that. Certainly not here in England.

The Church of England does seem to be moving full steam ahead in that direction, though:

A proposal to give the partners of gay priests some of the same rights that are awarded to priests’ spouses is likely to spark a new row over homosexuality.

Bishops and senior clergy will debate at next month’s General Synod whether the Church should provide same-sex couples with the same financial benefits as are awarded to married couples.

Traditionalists have expressed strong opposition to the move, which they claim would give official recognition to homosexual relationships.

They warn that affording equal treatment to heterosexual and homosexual couples would undermine the Church’s teaching on marriage.

At present, the Church bars clergy from being in active gay relationships, although it bowed to pressure to allow them to enter civil partnerships on the condition that they are celibate.

If this is sufficiently important to risk the stability – what’s left of it – of the Church of England by bringing a motion to General Synod, there must surely be a significant number of homosexual clergy in “celibate” – nudge, wink – relationships. If this motion is brought to GS, let alone if it passes, it will make a mockery of the CoE’s teaching on marriage.

So, Tom, is it time for  ‘choose you this day whom you will serve’, yet?


1 Comment

  1. The idea of avoiding a choice means that the C of E can just go on and on and on fudging and evading. Certainly (as I have argued on my own website) there are clearer indications of orthodoxy than attitudes to homosexuality (the nature of Jesus, the one Lordship, to name but the two most crucial). I accept that there are various shades of difference within English Anglicanism, as Wright says; but at the end of it, there’s just one reality. In the end, all Anglicans – particularly church leaders – all Christians – have to choose, decide, commit; notice how often Jesus required just that.

    Comment by John Thomas — January 18, 2010 @ 9:31 am

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