I welcome the debate on the meaning of marriage and its role and purpose in a liberal diverse society. But growing ever stronger in my mind is the fear that while as a Church we worry about language and words - Welsh or English or Latin; rock or plainsong; marriage or civil partnership - the message and meaning that we are here to proclaim is passing us by.
Surely if there is one constant and common theme throughout the scriptures it is in the gradual discovery and recognition of the reality of God as a God of an inclusive and all-embracing Love whose ultimate expression is found in the Paschal Mystery of Death and Resurrection of his "Word" incarnate, Jesus of Nazareth.
The purpose and mission of the Church, surely, is to be an effective and coherent witness to and expression of that love in our world and our time - however we do it, and in whatever language, for everyone.
....Society sees little of that, sadly, when it sees a church hierarchy that all too willingly goes into convulsions when moral issues are called into question but remains silent when faced with the real social scandals of our time.
But I do see it in the people, young and old, who still come faithfully to fill the pews and celebrate the mystery of a love that defies all our definitions and the limits we place on it. I see it in their acts of sacrifice and solidarity, in their innate sense of dignity, justice and a shared and sacred humanity. Perhaps when as a Church we begin to speak about that a bit more, the world will once again sit up and listen.I hope Fr Gilbert does not suffer for his wise, very public remarks. There are a lot of good priests out there who "get it".
(h/t Andrew Sullivan)