....All too often in schools and workplaces, temples and churches worldwide, people learn to hate or despise lesbians and gays. To Christians, this is tragic, not just for the victims: those who do not love their neighbour are spiritually dead. Yet talk among Anglican Communion leaders about homosexuality seemed oddly disconnected from the world in which most of us live, and the challenge to make it more just and loving.Michael Causer was the victim of a homophobic attack in Liverpool and died on Sunday. It's this kind of thing, and the deafening silence of the Lambeth response to it, that make the church (any church) seem irrelevant. Hop over to Fr Terry's site if you want to discuss how to make it relevant despite this.
Every decade or so, the Lambeth conference has urged bishops to champion human rights for all and enter into dialogue with the gay and lesbian community. But this has been widely ignored: blessing same-sex couples is apparently a far greater offence than allying with repressive governments to hunt them down. ....
...[A]t the Lambeth conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury appealed for a "covenant of faith" that would "promise to our fellow human beings the generosity God has shown us", and suggested "a Pastoral Forum to support minorities". But to him, those needing greater generosity and pastoral care were mainly Christians with strong objections to same-sex partnerships. While he is a humane man, his priorities seem strange. If Anglicans are to remain relevant, and a force for good, bishops need to listen more carefully to people like Michael Causer's family.
Then, there's a piece in Eastbourne today about the Rector of Pevensey, who sounds very sensible (don't ask how I find these things, I just do):
Following the end of the Lambeth Conference on Monday, Dr Anthony Christian aired his views about the issues in the monthly St Nicolas Church newsletter. Dr Christian writes, "I don't know what is happening to the Church of England nowadays.It seems to me that the Archbishop of Canterbury cannot take for granted the stability of his own church. If the Americans split, then so may the Brits. And I suspect that the Establishment is more favorable to the liberal viewpoint.
"It is not surprising that the two issues of homosexuality and women's ministry divide the international Church, the so-called Anglican Communion. Should these issues divide the Church of England which has inherited, historically, a sophisticated human culture? I doubt it. We used to be a tolerant church, embracing Catholics and Protestants, people whose faith was rooted in reason, others whose belief was based on emotion and others whose way of life was a combination of the two. The church looked after those who were certain about their beliefs and those too who doubted.
"Am I alone in thinking it a shame to see our Church of England taken over by a conspiracy of fundamentalist bigotry of various ideological complexions, which do not really speak for those nurtured in the English church?"
But the complaint of the Rector of Pevesney is relevant to the liberals as well, because you have to "allow" the gays (or the women), or not. And if you are vehemently opposed to one or both, how can you "condone" their presence? No one really has figured out how to grapple with the two completely incompatible viewpoints in one church. frankly, I don't think you can. You have to "buy" one or the other.