Friday, September 2, 2016

News from the C of E: Bishop comes out

As you may know, our friends across the Pond are having a bit of a wrestle about Teh Gayz.  Although marriage equality is the law of the land, the Church of England (which is established by the State) has managed to get legislation that actually prevents them from recognizing, performing, or participating in same sex marriages, and that inoculates them against accusations of bias for this. Priests and bishops are "allowed" to be gay as long as they are celibate, and under no circumstances can they marry a same sex partner. 

There have been a few cases where priests have married, and been fired, or lost their licenses.  I understand that a letter is forthcoming where a number of gay priests will out themselves as being married.

And, in a reflection of the schism that happened here, some conservatives have started making plans for a shadow synod, a possible break away. That would suggest they know they are going to lose.

Perhaps their fear was inspired by a comment from  Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (my emphasis)
Welby talked of an "incredible clash that is so important to so many people and goes to the heart of the identity of so many people". He added: "There isn't a simple solution... I haven't got a good answer." To applause, he said "I am constantly consumed with horror" at the way in which the Church has treated the gay community.
But the big news today,  the first C of E Bishop has outed himself, before he was outed by a journalist.
The bishop of Grantham has become the first Church of England bishop to publicly declare that he is gay and in a relationship. In a move that will be embraced by campaigners for equality but is likely to alarm conservatives who fear the church is moving away from traditional teachings, Nicholas Chamberlain said there had been no secret about his long-term – albeit celibate – relationship with his partner. ...
Chamberlain was consecrated last November, and all those involved in his appointment – including Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury – were aware of his personal situation. ...
Chamberlain said he adhered to church guidelines, under which gay clergy must be celibate and are not permitted to marry. In the appointments process, “We explored what it would mean for me as a bishop to be living within those guidelines,” he said.
The celibacy thing allows people to pretend that a gay man isn't actually gay.   But relationships are about much more than sex.  And, as  Bishop Gene Robinson has said, when this celibacy policy in the C of E was first promulgated,
I have to tell you this infuriates me and disappoints me. Let me try to say why. I don't care whether any couple, gay or straight, has sexual intimacy or not. That's not my business. That's their business. But to require someone to give up this piece of one's life, which is so central to who each of us is as a human being, just seems, it seems cruel, and it also, it bespeaks something that I think is not talked about enough around the issue of gay sexuality, which is that gay is not something you do, it's something we are.... 
I laughingly will say to a more conservative audience, you know, OK, so if it's OK to be gay but not act on it, could two men live together? Could we sleep in the same bedroom if we slept in twin beds?
Well, could we sleep in the same bed if we didn't touch each other? Well, could we touch each other as long as we only held hands? I mean, at what point, at what point is it gay? Do you know what I mean? It just doesn't make any sense. And it comes out of what I think is a very male understanding of sexuality, which is you're only being sexual when you're making love.  
But the fact of the matter is we are sexual all the time, and this bifurcation of, you know, being gay versus acting on it just seems to me ludicrous at best and cruel at worst.
Meanwhile, expect heads to start exploding in the C of E in any minute....

1 comment:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Dear Reader (and dear, IT),

It has come to my attention that kissing my loved one good-night may not be acceptable to various Primates, Priests, Puritans and assorted *others* both in and out of England and at the far reaches on the Anglican Communion. You can imagine the horror I feel for this decades long mistake...well, maybe not.

Faithfully yours,
Leonardo the Puckered